Dental news and social media platforms were in uproar on 30 June 2014 when the General Dental Council (GDC) announced that it plans to increase the annual retention fee (ARF) for dentists by 64%.
The GDC plans to increase the ARF for dentists from £576 to £945, and for dental care professionals (DCPs) from £120 to £128. For DCPs, many of whom have protested the £120 fee, this represents a 6.7% increase.
The GDC has launched a consultation on the level of the fee, following a consultation focussing on the policy used when setting the fee. It says that it is increasing the fees in order to collect an extra £18 million to enable it to deal with the extra volume of complaints and fitness to practise hearings it anticipates in 2014 and 2015. Complaints have increased by 110% since 2011, which the GDC says is the most expensive part of regulating the dental profession.
The British Dental Association (BDA) has slammed the proposal, calling it ‘wholly unacceptable’ and at odds with the actions of other regulators. Chair of the Principal Executive Committee, Mick Armstrong, said: ‘The suggestion that the profession pay more to fund a Council that has been shown unable to do its job properly is frankly astonishing’ and called for the GDC to investigate the underlying reasons for the increase in complaints about registrants.
For further information and to submit your views on the planned ARF price increases, visit http://www.gdc-uk.org/GDCcalendar/Consultations/pages/Consultation-on-the-Annual-Retention-Fee-(ARF)-Level-for-2015.aspx. The consultation is open until 4 September 2014.