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FAQs

What are the benefits of CPHVA membership? As a member of CPHVA, you get all the benefits from being a member with Unite the Union (You can see these here).

The extra benefits of CPHVA membership include: 

  • You’re a member of the professional organisation that represents health visitors, school nurses, community nursery nurses and community practitioners. We’ve done this since 1896. 
  • We represent you professionally and on work place issues that you tell us are important. This is across the four countries of the United Kingdom. As a member, your voice is heard at all levels across governments, health, social care and related organisations. We raise awareness on issues around your profession and your professional practice. 
  • You receive a monthly subscription to the Community Practitioner Journal. 
  • You receive professional liability insurance cover of up to £3 million. 
  • If you have a problem at work that relates to your professional practice, we provide specialist support and advice to you and your Unite representatives. 
  • You can access events that we run throughout the year. 

How much does it cost to be a member of CPHVA?

Click here for the Unite/CPHVA contribution rates.  CPHVA members contributions are the Unite contribution rate plus £1.25 per month

Can I claim tax relief for my CPHVA subscriptions?
Members who pay tax are able to claim tax relief on their subscription to CPHVA because it is named on list 3 with HMRC. Members can organise this by contacting their local tax office. If you have not claimed tax in previous years you may be able to also claim retrospectively. You can view previous years’ subscription rates here.

What professional resources are available from CPHVA?
CPHVA produces a number of different professional resources in a variety of formats.

Our online resources can be accessed on the CPHVA professional resources page which is linked from our CPHVA homepage. These resources are only accessible by members.

We also have a small number CPHVA authored books available which can be purchased from our online bookshop.

How do I stay in touch with CPHVA?

The best way you can stay up to date with CPHVA and issues in your profession is by reading the Community Practitioner Journal every month.

We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.  It’s also important to regularly review our website for any changes.

How do I get in touch (including when I have a problem at work)? You never know when you might need advice, including with a problem at work. So it’s good to know we are here to help. If you know who your local branch representative is, contact them in the first instance. They may or may not be in your department or profession but they’ll try and help. If you’re unaware of who this is, you can find out their details by contacting your local Unite office on 0844 870 5605. If you don’t have a local representative, your local office will be able to advise.

I have a 'professional' issue to discuss, how do I get in touch with CPHVA?
It’s still important to first discuss any issues with your local branch representative. If you still want to contact someone in CPHVA or the Unite Health Sector, you can find their details here.

How can I be involved in CPHVA?
As a membership organisation there are many ways that you can be involved in CPHVA. The first way to get involved is by attending your local branch meeting. This might be specific to CPHVA but also might be a wider Unite in Health branch.

There are several ‘roles’ that members can take up locally including becoming an accredited representative or branch official. If you’re interested in any of these, get in touch with your local representative or Unite office (see How do I get in touch below).

As well as these local structures, health sector members can be involved in regional and national committees. On the following links you can find out details (including who your representatives are) about the Organising Professional Committees and the Health National Industrial Sector Committee.

How can I find out about CPHVA events?

CPHVA holds regular events across the UK. You can see the list of upcoming events here [www.unitetheunion.org/cphva/events]. Don’t forget as members of Unite, you can also attend events locally and nationally. You can get details about these from the website. 



As a CPHVA member do I receive a copy of the Community Practitioner Journal? All CPHVA members receive a copy of Community Practitioner Journal in the post each month.

I've not been receiving my copy of the Community Practitioner Journal, what should I do?
If you’re not receiving your Community Practitioner Journal, you should contact your local office which you can do on 0844 870 5605. Your local office will be able to ensure your membership record is up to date. They’ll follow this procedure.

I'd like to write an article/letter/etc to the Community Practitioner Journal.  How do I go about doing this?
Our editor is always interested to hear from individuals who are considering writing in the Community Practitioner Journal. You can contact the editorial team here. You can review the guidelines for authors here.



Can I be a student member of CPHVA?
Yes you can, however it’s important to ensure that you are paying the correct subscription rate. CPHVA offers a discounted student rate, however this rate is for students who are unwaged. For those students who are undertaking studies whilst receiving a wage (for example those on band 5), they should ensure that they are paying the correct full or part-time membership rate. You can view the membership rates here
. CPHVA members contributions are the ‘normal’ Unite membership rate plus £1.25 per month. Irrespective of rate, CPHVA membership includes a monthly copy of Community Practitioner.

How do I complete the online joining form if I’m employed to complete the SCPHN training?

On the online joining form, on the screen titled ‘Your Employment’, it asks for details as to where you work. In the box ‘I work at’ you should add details for the organisation that is paying your wage whilst you study. In the ‘Employment Details’ boxes;

1.    in ‘sector’ you should choose ‘health’ 

2.    in ‘type of work’ you should choose ‘student CPHVA’ 

3.    in ‘category’ you should choose ‘full time (more than 21 hours per week)’. If you’re completing the course part time and this equates to less than 21 hours per week then you should choose ‘part time (10-21 hours per week)’.

This will ensure your subscription is correctly calculated on the next screen. 

How do I complete the online joining form if I’m NOT employed to complete the SCPHN training?

On the online joining form, on the screen titled ‘Your Employment’, it asks for details as to where you work. In the box ‘I work at’ you should add details for the education establishment where you are studying. In the ‘Employment Details’ boxes;

1.    in ‘sector’ you should choose ‘health’ 

2.    in ‘type of work’ you should choose ‘student CPHVA’ 

3.    in ‘category’ you should choose ‘student in full time education’ 

This will ensure your subscription is correctly calculated on the next screen.


I’m working on the bank/have a part time job whilst I train, will I be covered for this?
Yes, student membership in CPHVA covers members for less than 10 hours of work per week. If you are regularly going to be doing 10 hours or more per week, consider joining under the part time rate. Click here for the Unite/CPHVA contribution rates.  CPHVA members contributions are the Unite part time rate plus £1.25 per month.

I’m training as a SCPHN student, do I need to maintain my NMC registration?
Yes, you need to maintain your NMC registration whilst completing your studies. The NMC states “SCPHN programmes can only be undertaken by individuals who are already registered on the Nurses and, or midwives part of the NMC register”. You can see further details about how to maintain your registration here.

I’ve completed my SCPHN course and want to register the qualification with the NMC. Do I have to pay for this?
Yes, you need to pay a fee to register your SCPHN qualification with the NMC. They have advised that this currently is a one off fee of £23.

Will I get paid mileage expenses whilst carrying out visits?
Yes, the NHS organisation you’re placed with should reimburse your travel in line with the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook (section 17). You can download a copy of the handbook and view the rates here.

I’ve just qualified and applied for jobs however I’m only being offered posts with pay at the bottom of band 6, whereas I was on top band 6 in my last job as a nurse/midwife. What should I do?
The NHS terms and conditions of service handbook is relatively silent on this issue and therefore the issue would be for local negotiation. There are however some circumstances where it does have relevance and should be considered.

In Part 2, section 6.31 (Career development moves) “where, however, an individual re-trains in a different area of work, for wider service or operational reasons, with the explicit agreement of the employer concerned, their existing level of pay should be protected”.

It is important to ensure that if there is any offer made regarding future pay levels before, during or after training that these are put in writing so you can refer back to these at a later date.

Since the inception of Agenda for Change and then more recently the health visitor implementation plan in England, Unite has argued that this issue should be clarified by NHS Employers nationally to ensure that staff undertaking SCPHN training should not be adversely affected. We will continue to raise this issue until it is resolved.


Do I need to maintain my 1st (nursing) and/or 2nd (midwifery) part registration with the NMC whilst practising as a SCPHN?
Yes, you cannot maintain your 3rd (SCPHN) part registration without a 1st and/or 2nd part registration.

Do I need to work as a midwife to be able to maintain my 2nd (midwifery) part registration whilst I also practise as a health visitor?
No, you do not have to carry out work as a midwife to maintain your 2nd part registrations. The NMC gives specific guidance on this issue here. You do have to complete your yearly intention to practice form (ItP) and if your local supervisor of midwives (LSM) refuses to sign the ItP, you can raise the issue with the local supervising authority midwifery officer (LSAMO).

I'm currently a school nurse registered on the specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) part of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) register. I want to train as a health visitor. On completion of the course, will I be identified on the register as a SCPHN HV?
No. An entry on the SCPHN part of the register indicates successful completion of a programme in line with the Standards of proficiency for specialist community public health nurses (NMC 2004). An annotation indicates the field of practice in which you are working. The SCPHN part of the register as it is currently constituted does not permit the removal of annotations or the addition of annotations; see NMC Circular 26/2006 (http://www.nmc-uk.org/Publications-/Circulars/SCPHN-Circulars/). Therefore, the annotation that will be shown on the register will be the first one obtained. You can change the field in which you undertake your SCPHN practice (HV to SN or SN to HV) by undertaking a minimum ten week, assessed practice placement in the new field. On successful completion of this you will receive a certificate which will demonstrate that you have met the standard to work in the new field.