Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Licence fees and payments: 2018/19

Issue date: 
11 December 2017

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) had announced licence fee levels for the 2018/19 business year. These licence fees came into effect from April 2018 and was calculated on the same basis as 2017/18.

You can read the full sector breakdowns here.

Background to HTA licence fees

As part of the fees consultation we undertook in 2016 we proposed a budget increase for the first time since 2010, and aimed to recover £3.42m in fee income.

In early summer 2017, we discovered that an error had resulted in the under-recovery of fees which would, without action, result in a deficit of around £200k. This deficit was compounded by a reduction in the number of licensed establishments.

We are required to cover the majority of our expenditure from fee income, but took the view that it would be unreasonable to pass this cost on to establishments within the year, after fees had already been confirmed. Instead, we decided to defer expenditure and reduce the scope of some planned work, in order to deliver our business plan commitments within a reduced budget. However, these reductions are not sustainable year on year, and we have re-instated this funding for 2018/19.

After taking account of all other income sources, we will require £3.7m in income from licence fees in 2018/19. This figure reflects the under recovery from 2017/18 as well other inflationary pressures, in particular accommodation costs.

After several years of making efficiencies, holding budgets steady and absorbing new work, we need to increase the income provided from fees to maintain the high quality of our regulation and to make necessary improvements to our operations and infrastructure.

Changes to this year’s fees

There are no amendments to the fees model for the 2018/19 financial year – as such, fees will be calculated on the same basis as 2017/18.

The 2018/19 fees reflect the overall HTA budget increase – fees per sector are based on the level of regulatory activity, and therefore HTA resource, that is required to monitor and superintend compliance.

Allan Marriott-Smith, Chief Executive of the HTA said:

"As a regulator, the HTA strives to be as efficient as possible, and to provide the best value for money for those we regulate. After several years of holding budgets steady, reducing our outgoings wherever possible, and absorbing new work, the HTA needs to increase the income provided from fees proportionately to remain resilient, minimise risk and maintain quality, whilst ensuring we can effectively regulate to protect public’s confidence in the system.

We understand the importance of keeping licence fees as low as possible, and we recognise that licensed establishments operate in challenging financial times. At the same time, we must continue to be an effective regulator and we must seek to strike the right balance between value, oversight, and effectiveness.”

You can see the full breakdown of fees and payments per sector here



  • The HTA is the regulator of human organs and tissue. We regulate activities relating to the removal, storage, use and disposal of human tissue and organs. We also give approval for organ and bone marrow donations from living people.
  • We licence over 850 organisations (main licences and satellites) across six sectors: Public Display, Organ Donation & Transplantation, Human Application, Post Mortem, Research, and Anatomy,
  • Our overall aim is to make sure that human tissue and organs are stored and used safely, ethically and with proper consent. We do this by licensing and inspecting organisations, ensuring that they meet our standards.  When organisations do not meet these standards, we work with them to help them improve.
  • The HTA receives funding from two main sources. The majority (nearly 80 per cent) comes from licence fees, with the balance coming from our sponsor in Grant-in-Aid – the Department of Health. We also receive a small amount of income for undertaking activities on behalf of the devolved governments and sub-letting part of our office space.
News type: 
Last updated on: 28 Jan 2019