Expert advice

NMC registration: getting help to pay, plus where your fee goes

Advice for nurses who may struggle to pay the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s £120 annual fee, plus a breakdown of how the regulator uses your money

Advice for those who may struggle to pay the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s £120 annual fee, plus a breakdown of how the regulator uses your money

To maintain your place on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register you must pay an annual fee, currently set at £120.

The NMC will send you an email reminder 60 days before your fee is due, so it’s important to make sure your contact details in your NMC Online account are up to date.

How can I pay my NMC registration fee?

If you have a UK bank account you can pay by direct debit, either in one annual amount or four quarterly instalments.

It takes

Advice for those who may struggle to pay the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s £120 annual fee, plus a breakdown of how the regulator uses your money

Picture: iStock

To maintain your place on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register you must pay an annual fee, currently set at £120.

The NMC will send you an email reminder 60 days before your fee is due, so it’s important to make sure your contact details in your NMC Online account are up to date.

How can I pay my NMC registration fee?

If you have a UK bank account you can pay by direct debit, either in one annual amount or four quarterly instalments.

It takes 11 days for the NMC to set up a direct debit with your bank so ensure you make these arrangements at least 11 days before your fee is due.

You can also pay your registration fee by debit or credit card via NMC Online.

Once your annual fee is paid, the NMC will not refund any part of it if you decide to lapse your registration at any point during that year.

What does the NMC spend my registration fee on?

In 2021, registration fees made up nearly £87 million of the NMC’s £91 million income for the year.

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe says: ‘The registration fee is our primary source of income and allows us to be an independent regulator. Most of our fee income goes towards maintaining the register of almost 745,000 professionals and looking at fitness to practise concerns that are raised with us.’

‘We offer a bit of extra time to pay for people who’ve experienced a significant unexpected loss of income or increase in expenses’

Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC chief executive

In 2021, £57 of each registrant’s £120 fee was spent on maintaining the register and investigating fitness to practise concerns, while £23 went towards resources and technology costs.

The remainder of each registrant’s fee covered various other NMC costs including ‘people and organisational effectiveness’, ‘strategy and insight’ and ‘communications and engagement’.

What happens if I forget to pay on time?

This is a scenario you want to avoid; if you miss a registration payment you will automatically be removed from the NMC register. You will be unable to practise again until you are readmitted and that can take up to six weeks.

Log in to your NMC Online account to find out when your registration is due to expire. Remember that it is a legal requirement for any nurse or midwife practising in the UK, or any nursing associate practising in England, to be on the NMC register.

What if I cannot afford to pay?

Ms Sutcliffe acknowledges that the registration fee represents a sizeable outlay for many nurses, midwives and nursing associates.

‘We know that paying the full amount in one go can be difficult for some people,’ she says. ‘We’ve brought in ways to make it easier, for example professionals can split the cost over a quarterly direct debit. We also offer a bit of extra time for people who’ve experienced a significant unexpected loss of income or increase in expenses.’

She adds: ‘The fee has been £120 since 2015, and we’re committed to keeping it at that level for as long as possible. Our council recently agreed there will be no increase for 2022-23.’

The NMC refers any registrant who is having difficulty paying their fee to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, which helps nursing staff who are experiencing financial or personal hardship.

To be eligible for a grant from the trust you must be a current, former or retired registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate. Healthcare assistants can also apply.

You must also:

  • Be currently living in the UK and have worked in the UK.
  • Be in financial hardship.
  • Have less than £4,000 in household savings.

If you have been suspended or removed from the register, you should contact the trust on 01527 595999 or email welfare@cavellnursestrust.org before completing the online application form.

The RCN website lists charitable funding and other sources of help for those unable to afford living costs.

All those working in the nursing and midwifery professions can apply for hardship grants from the RCN Foundation. You don’t need to be an RCN member to apply and the foundation will consider requests for help with NMC registration fees.

Can I claim tax relief on my NMC registration fee?

Yes, if you are a UK taxpayer. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) allows individuals to claim tax relief on professional subscriptions and fees that must be paid in order for you to carry out your job.

You must claim within four years of the end of the tax year in which you spent the money.

The NMC cannot claim tax relief on your behalf, you must do it via HMRC. Check whether you can make a claim on the HMRC website.

Where can I find out more?

Go to the manage your registration page of the NMC website for information about renewing your registration, paying your fee and how to update your details.


Further information

NMC annual report for 2020-21


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