A new option to pay the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s annual registration fee through quarterly instalments has been more popular than expected, with thousands of nurses and midwives signing up in the first month.
On 27 June the regulator brought in the new payment system, which means registrants can either continue to pay the entire £120 fee at once – either online or through direct debit – or can now pay in instalments of £30 by direct debit.
In the first 24 days since it launched, 93% of the 10,000 nurses and midwives who set up direct debits chose to use the quarterly instalment option.
At an NMC council meeting in July, NMC director of resources Adam Broome said the regulator had planned for less than 93% in that time.
“Many registrants are clearly finding the service useful so we will continue to closely monitor the position”
An NMC spokeswoman told Nursing Times the regulator had expected that by the end of the year around 50% of people using direct debits would have opted for phased payments.
While questions were raised at the council meeting about the impact this would have on the NMC’s cash flow, the spokeswoman said the high level of popularity was not a cause for concern.
“As the first month shows, many registrants are clearly finding the service useful so we will continue to closely monitor the position over the coming months,” she said.
The new system for quarterly payments was due to be introduced from April, but according to NMC council papers discussed at the July meeting, this was pushed back to 27 June due to “the need to resolve issues identified when we tested the system”.
The option is currently only available to existing registrants, but the latest council papers said the NMC was “on track” to open up the system to new registrants as well from December 2016.