2017 Business Plan, Budget and Practice Fees
We are consulting on our 2017 Business Plan, Budget and Practice Fees.
We are a proposing a zero increase in practice fees for 2017.
The draft 2017 Business Plan focuses on progressing our Assurance Programme. We will be continuing our activities in Education, Training and Qualification, including reviewing our CPD regime. Following the appointment of a new Chair, the Business Plan also includes a communications programme.
The 2017 Budget should be read in conjunction with our Project and General Reserves. At the end of 2015, IPReg utilised the balance of Licensing Application fees, after the deduction of any associated legal costs, to create a reserve specifically aimed at furthering Practice Development; and the unspent 2015 Budget Contingency was set aside as a reserve to fund diversity supporting initiatives aimed at promoting our regulatory objective of a diverse profession.
£44,255 of the “Projects Reserve” is already set aside to fund the current research into the Patent Examination “Infringement and Validity (FD4/P6)” being undertaken by Middlesex University under the guidance of a working party led by IPReg but including the PEB and members of the profession. This is extensive research into:
- The adequacy of the preparation of the candidates for this examination
- The appropriateness of the current assessment methodology
- The extent to which the current teaching, learning and assessment arrangements are in line with leading pedagogical practice in this area.
- The appropriateness of the technical content of the assessment, given the differing technical backgrounds of the candidates.
The findings are scheduled to be published in early 2017.
The budgeted operational costs for 2017 are £654,700 (2016: £649,870) plus the Legal Services Board levy of £57,200 (2016: £68,700). The total budget for 2017 is £711,900 (2016: £718,570).
Our office resources have now stabilised and are aligned with commitments given to the Legal Services Board. There are no plans for further expansion. IPReg will continue to monitor costs carefully.
Our projected practice fee income for 2017 is £750,000. Last year we saw strong growth in attorney numbers. We will be monitoring this over 2017/18 in terms of the impact on income.
The MoJ’s consultation regarding regulatory independence has been put on hold. We are watching with interest the ongoing Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) consultation on the provision of legal services in England and Wales.
[Update 22 August – We have now published our response to the interim report]
If you have any comments on the 2017 Business Plan, Budget or Practice Fees, please send them to:
by close of business on Friday 16 September 2016.
(You can access the 2016 Practice Fee page – the fees will be unchanged in 2017 – via this link)