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COVID-19: GOsC introduces deferral of registration fee direct debit payments

15 April 2020

Payment-free months are being switched to help support registrants during these unprecedented times

The impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives has been hugely significant and since the start of the pandemic, registrants have been asking us if we can explore how the GOsC might be able to help support osteopaths.

We know this has been a challenging time for many and we have been working hard to quickly identify what options might be available, as explained by the new Chair of Council, Dr Bill Gunnyeon, in his message of support to the profession.

As registered healthcare professionals, osteopaths need to renew their registration annually, and this requirement will not change during the current health crisis.

Some osteopaths pay their registration fees in full, others pay by instalment through direct debit. The direct debit system allows the registration fee to be spread across ten of the twelve months of the registration year, meaning the payment does not need to be made in one lump sum and giving the registrant two payment-free months.

Matthew Redford, Acting Chief Executive and Registrar, explains: ‘While the Osteopaths Act and Registration Rules constrict what we can legally do, there is flexibility around how these direct debit payments are collected, as this is not something which is set out in legislation.

Just under half of the profession are about to renew their registration so their payments will be due shortly.

For those who pay by direct debit, we will introduce the payment-free months at the start, rather than at the end of the registration year. So, for those about to renew, the payment-free months would begin during this challenging period.’

Those registrants who are due to renew their registration in May 2020 and June 2020 will be the first to have their direct debit payments deferred and the GOsC will shortly be writing to these osteopaths individually, to explain the changes in more detail.

Council has agreed to keep this deferral system under review and will consider at a later stage whether this can be rolled out for those who renew their registration later in the year.