APC Consultation Summary
Te Kaunihera Tapuhi o Aotearoa Nursing Council of New Zealand recently consulted on proposals to increase the Annual Practising Certificate fee and the disciplinary levy for nurses in New Zealand. We also proposed that from 2023, the APC fee, levy, and other Council fees would be able to be increased by an inflation adjustment based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
This was our first proposed increase to the APC fee and disciplinary levy in over 11 years. The increase is necessary to ensure the Council remains financially robust and able to continue fulfilling our statutory obligations and strategic objectives.
Open consultation with the profession began in December 2021.
Consultation and Submissions
An email message was sent to all 61,403 nurses on the Register announcing the consultation had opened. This email included a summary of the fee proposal and a link to the full consultation document on the Nursing Council website. Information on the proposal and consultation was also included in the Council’s December pānui (newsletter) to all nurses. The consultation document is available for download below.
Annual Practising Certificate Fee Increase Proposal
A total of 126 email responses were received. These mainly consisted of submissions from individual nurses, although some sector or professional groups also responded.
In addition to these email responses, targeted stakeholder meetings were carried out with representatives from Nursing Executives New Zealand (NENZ), the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards, Directors of Nursing (DoNs), and the Office of the Chief Nurse (OCN). These key stakeholders were generally in favour of the proposals.
Of formal submissions received by the Council, 49% (62 responses) supported the proposal and a further 5% (6 responses) were partially supportive. Most of these positive responses stated that the proposal was justified due to the length of time since the last fee increase. The proposed CPI adjustments were also accepted as preferable to potential larger fee increases in the future.
40% of the responses (51) did not support the proposal. Their submissions covered several recurring themes listed below:
Seven responses were unclear in their support or opposition to the proposal. A full summary of the feedback received throughout the consultation process can be found here.
- Concern at the financial impact for Nurses who are not reimbursed for their APC by their employer
- Pay parity - Nursing wages do not match rising inflation
- Financial strain - The fee increase could generate more financial hardship
- Concerns regarding future increases based on the inflation adjustment
The Council met on 24 February 2022 to discuss the outcome of consultation. The feedback received from nurses and key stakeholders was considered by the Council and it was concluded that the rationale for the fee increase was justified. Therefore, the decision was made to proceed with the APC (including disciplinary levy) increase from 01 July 2022, as shown below.
Table 1: Fee and Levy Structure (including GST)
|Current rate, until 30 June 2022
|New rate, from 01 July 2022
|Annual Practising Certificate
What this means for nurses
The new total APC fee of $130 – including a $33 disciplinary levy – will apply from 01 July 2022. Any fees paid from this date onward will be at the new rate.
Please note that if your APC is due for renewal in the April-June quarter but you pay your fee after 30 June, you will be charged the new fee and levy rate.
The inflation adjustment is intended to first come into effect from 01 July 2023. The specific annual increase will be approved by the Council in early 2023. A list of confirmed new fee rates will then be posted on our website, and a message sent to all nurses before these rates take effect.
It is important to note that the inflation adjustment has been put into place as an option to help avoid the possibility of large future increases in fees. Each adjustment must be approved in its own right, and the Council may decide not to apply this adjustment in any given year.