Dentists reminded of GDC's indemnity requirements


For immediate release: Tuesday, 8 November 2016

UK-wide dental defence organisation MDDUS is reminding dentists that it is now a GDC requirement to have appropriate full indemnity in place as part of their annual retention fee (ARF) renewal process.

The GDC changed the rules on registration in November 2015, meaning that dentists and dental care professionals now must declare that they have indemnity in place – or will have by the time they start practising.

MDDUS dental adviser Rachael Bell said: “This is not a new requirement as dentists have always needed to have appropriate indemnity in place to practise dentistry. The only difference now is that practitioners must complete an indemnity declaration as part of their annual renewal process.

“The GDC does not require registrants to provide an indemnity certificate unless specifically requested for further information. However, practising without appropriate indemnity in place is contrary to guidance and can result in a fitness to practise investigation.

“Practitioners who are covered by their employer should not make assumptions. It is their responsibility to check they are indemnified prior to their declaration.

“We advise practices to have a system in place to check that all staff subscriptions with bodies such as the GDC and defence organisations are renewed on time. These checks should also apply to temporary members of staff and responsibility for this should not be delegated to locum agencies. The GDC website provides a secure web portal where registrants can manage their registration, pay fees and update personal information.”

MDDUS Head of Membership Services Stephen Kelly added: “Members receive a proof of indemnity certificate once the first direct debit is taken, usually around the renewal date. They can also request a PDF copy at any time by emailing our membership team.

“Dentists can contact us to check their membership is active and reflects their current practice. We can also supply details on their date of renewal and payment status.”

MDDUS also urge dentists to ensure they pay their ARF ahead of the December 31 deadline.

“Each year in January and February, MDDUS is contacted by members who have missed the payment deadline,” said Bell. “Often dentists unintentionally fail to pay due to changes in their banking details or other personal information. Dentists should check ahead of the deadline that payments have gone through.

“The advice provided by MDDUS in such cases is unequivocal – dentists who fail to pay will be removed from the register and must cease practising until they have confirmation in writing that they have been restored.

“Reinstatement takes up to fourteen days and even longer if the mandatory paperwork is not in order. During this time, dentists cannot work either within the NHS or privately, leading to significant loss of remuneration and inconvenience to patients.”


For further information contact Richard Hendry on 0845 270 2034 or 07976 272266, or email

Note to editors

MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is a medical and dental defence organisation providing access to professional indemnity and expert medico- and dento-legal advice for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK.

For further information on MDDUS go to



This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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