The NMC has said it wants to maintain the £120 registration fee ‘for as long as possible’ to keep it ‘affordable’ for nurses, midwives and nursing associates.
This came at the NMC council meeting on 30 March, where the Council and NMC officers agreed the cost of registration should be ‘affordable by nurses, midwives and nursing associates’ and not go through ‘sudden, large increases’ that may be hard for them to manage.
The renewal fee has been £120 since February 2015. Previously, it was £76 until February 2013, and £100 from February 2013 to February 2015 – a nearly 60% increase over two years.
Those two jumps in cost ‘were very unpopular with nurses and midwives’, the papers noted, and added that the Government has previously said fee rises should be kept to a minimum.
However, it also highlighted prices have increased by over 18% since February 2015. If the charge had increased with inflation, it would be around £142 – representing a total fee income rise by about £16m in 2022 to 2023, the NMC said.
By the end of 2025, the cost of registration might reach £160 if inflation continues, which would see the NMC’s total fee income £30m higher than it is now, it added.
The NMC warned its calculations assume registrant numbers rise about 2% a year, but it may have to consider increasing the payment if registrant numbers stop increasing or drop.
However, it also expects ‘investment in new systems’ and ‘continuous improvement to our processes’ to produce ‘costs savings’ that offset rises in inflation. This should allow it to keep its budget balanced in the ‘medium to long term’ and maintain the registration fee at £120, it added.
The papers added: ‘Council will continue to review the need for fee changes each year, using our rolling three year budget to identify when fee increases are necessary and plan for them so as to minimise the impact on registrants.’