Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Eighth Report


Memorandum by the Privy Council Office



1.  The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments has requested an explanation of the increases in fees charged by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and given effect by the regulations approved by the above instruments.

2.  The new fees (with the previous fees shown in brackets) and the percentage increases over existing fees, are as follows:
Retention fee for UK members 150 (143) 4.8%
Retention fee for overseas members 75 (50) 50%
Retention fee for retired members 20 (15) 33%
Registration fee 170 (161) 5.5%
Restoration fee 20 (18) 11%
Temporary List registration fee 170 (161) 5.5%
Commonwealth and
foreign candidates examination fee 800 (568) 40%
400 (285)(part)*

 * The lower fee is charged in respect of those candidates who do not sit all four components of the examination.

3.  Save for the Commonwealth and foreign candidates examination fee, all these fees were last increased with effect from 31 March 1996. The examination fee was last increased in 1995. All increases take effect from 31 March 1988.

4.  The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is both a membership body and a statutory registration authority and has to finance these functions on a non-profit making basis from fee income. The fees, which are not index-linked, have to be raised from time to time to take account of increased cost. It is this that accounts for the increases in the retention fee for UK members, the registration fee and the restoration fee. The restoration fee represents the difference between the other two fees; on this occasion this calculation has yielded an increase of 11%.

5.  The College have also been concerned to ensure that individual fees match the cost of the relevant service provided and that there is no cross-subsidy. Hitherto, registration and retention fees for United Kingdom Veterinary Surgeons have in effect subsidised the cost of services, particularly mailings, to overseas and retired members. It is for this reason that the fees for the two latter categories of member are being increased by 30% and 50% respectively. Even so, the retention fees for overseas and retired members (£75 and £20 respectively) remain modest when compared with that for UK practitioners (£150).

6.  A similar principle of recovery of true economic cost lies behind the increase in the fee for non-EU overseas qualified persons to sit the College's statutory examination. This examination contains written, clinical, oral and practical components, and the College are seeking to recover the full costs of running the examinations (about £20,000 a year) from a small number of candidates. In the last full year for which figures are available costs exceeded fees by some £6,000.

March 1998

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