GDC reduces annual retention fee

THE GDC has announced a reduction in its annual retention fee (ARF).

The new fee has been set at £680 for dentists and £114 for dental care professionals.

The GDC says the new lower fees have been made possible by reduced operating costs, robust financial controls and significant changes to the organisation. The new fees also reflect a drive to "remove cross subsidy between different registrant groups wherever practicable, including the introduction of an assessment fee for new applicants which is planned for next year".

The BDA points out that the new rate of £680 is broadly in line with where the ARF would have been had it only increased in line with inflation since 2014.

GDC Chief Executive and Registrar, Ian Brack, said: "In our recent strategy consultation, one of our aims was to provide more transparency, both around the fees we charge and the activity we undertake to fulfil our statutory duty of protecting the public and maintaining public confidence in dental services. I look forward to publishing that finalised strategy later this year which will confirm our ambitious programme of work for the next three years."

BDA has called the reduced fees a "welcome return to reality", with Chair Mick Armstrong commenting: "Every dentist in the UK will appreciate a reduction in fees, from a level the GDC was never able to justify. It represents a return to reality for a regulator that had lost the confidence of this profession, and now recognises the need to rebuild trust."

The new ARF levels will apply from 31 December 2019 for dentists and 31 July 2020 for DCPs and should remain in place for the next three years.