In the last several days, we have received inquiries about our June 10 fee notice. Since we take all inquiries very seriously, we immediately began to look into the matter. After a thorough review, we discovered two errors related to the collection and communication of LPN renewal fees. The purpose of my email to explain these errors, to offer my sincere apologies for any confusion and to share the steps we are taking to ensure this does not happen again.
Given the size and nature of our organization, a harmonized sales tax (HST) is required on all registration, licensure and administrative fees by law.
When NSCN was proclaimed mid-year on June 4 2019, it was not possible to collect HST on LPN licensure fees for the 2020 licensure year because there was not adequate time for employers and nurses to adjust payroll deduction in advance of the renewal period.
As a result, our intention was to keep the LPN licence renewal fee at $325 as it had been for the past three years and cover the $48.75 HST as a one-time event. We notified employers of this decision. Unfortunately, we did not properly communicate this decision to LPN registrants.
In our review of this matter, we also discovered a transaction system error in that the system automatically deducts HST from all payments. When LPN registrants paid their $325 fee in 2019, the system claimed and recorded a portion of this fee as HST on the receipt. Ultimately, we did not test the transaction system prior to renewal and we take responsibility for this error.
Why Did This Happen?
These errors occurred for two reasons:
- We did not test the transaction system to ensure it aligned with our decision to keep the 2020 LPN licensure fee at $325 and cover the HST as a one-time event.
- We did not properly communicate this decision last year or that LPNs would be required to pay HST on the $325 fee moving forward.
Our Sincere Apologies
As CEO and Registrar of NSCN, I would like to apologize for these errors and I take full accountability for our missteps. While it was our intention to create a seamless renewal experience, it has become clear that we fell short of this goal.
We know that 2020 has been an unprecedented year for everyone and we regret that our oversight may have contributed to more anxiety and stress during these times. We own these mistakes and are committed to ensuring this does not happen again.
I would also like to recognize all those who contacted us this week. While we initially thought the error was limited to poor communications, your questions prompted us to explore the matter further and it is then that we discovered the transaction system error that needed to be resolved. As humbling an experience this has been for us, we are grateful to registrants who brought this matter to our attention.
What Are We Doing to Resolve this Matter?
In addition to resolving these errors immediately, we also commit:
- Sharing more information through a Q&A. Click here to read the Q&A.
- Assembling an internal team to identify lessons learned as well as recommended practices to adopt to ensure this does not happen again
- Publishing the team’s report on our website and sharing it with registrants
We also continue to remain transparent. In keeping with the June 10 notice, LPN licence renewal fees are set at $325 plus HST for the upcoming 2021 licensure year. HST will be collected and remitted to the government as required by law.
On behalf of NSCN, thank you for your patience and understanding. Although we cannot turn back time, we are committed to doing better in the future.
For further questions, contact Registration Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.