Registrant fees to rise by 25 per cent

Registrant fees to rise by 25 per cent

28 Jan 2011

The General Dental Council (GDC) is set to increase the annual retention fee (ARF) paid by registrants by a staggering 25 per cent. ARF for dentists will rise to £576 (next due by 31 December 2010) and to £120 for DCPs (next due by 31 July 2011). If you look at these figures in terms of monthly outgoings, it will cost DCPs an £2 extra per month and dentists an extra £11.50 a month.

Regulation costs

At a time where every penny counts, dental professionals are wondering how the GDC can justify such a steep rise. In a recent press statement, the GDC explained how the fee level was calculated:

The GDC is facing a number of significant challenges, which look set to continue in 2011. A number of these will place additional pressure on its resources. In particular:

• A 40 per cent rise in fitness to practise (FtP) case load overall 

• An increase in hearings. 178 cases were referred to a practice committee in 2009 in comparison to 164 in 2008.

• The cost of legal and professional services now stands at more than 8 million pounds.

• The GDC is also planning for Government-led initiatives like revalidation which we must implement.

GDC Chair Alison Lockyer commented:

“We have looked very carefully at what it costs us to regulate dentistry. Costs include keeping our two registers, one for dentists and one for DCPs, up-to-date with people joining and leaving. The online registers are updated daily so people checking can be sure they have the latest information.

“More significantly, fitness to practise caseloads continue to grow and these costs are largely driven by allegations against dentists. Dental care professionals are now beginning to feature in FtP work too. Currently the best information we have is that dentists account for at least 74 per cent of our costs and dental care professionals 26 per cent.” 

She added: “As a dentist, I recognise that there are dental professionals who will be unhappy with this decision about the ARF. Our strategy commits us to protecting the public, regulating the dental team. It also commits us to ensuring value for money and we will do all we can to continue to use our resources efficiently and effectively.”

Open and accountable

The GDC has made clear that it is committed to being open and accountable about how it spends registrants’ money. To demonstrate this, along with the ARF rise it has implemented a number of methods to keep internal costs down, including:

• There is an Audit Committee at the GDC with a range of duties, which include ensuring that an effective internal audit function is established and provides appropriate independent assurance

• No members of staff were awarded a cost of living pay increase this year

• A number of posts which were not essential to its core regulatory functions were removed.

Interim Chief Executive and Registrar, Ian Todd, said:

“The GDC’s first duty as a regulator is patient protection. However we also have a duty to provide a cost effective regulatory system. We’re looking hard at our systems and processes. Investment in IT will be one area for review once we have redesigned our processes. The GDC’s Strategy puts special emphasis on delivering value for money and all our staff are committed to delivering this on the ground.”

For more information, the GDC’s Annual Report and its 2010 business plan can be found at: www.gdc-uk.org.

 

Annual retention fee breakdown

Dentists – beginning 31 December 2010

Dentist annual retention fee £576

Restoration to the Dentist Register £696

 

Dental care professionals – beginning 31 July 2011

Dental care professionals annual retention fee £120

First entry of a person’s name – a fee equivalent to £10 for every month until the renewal date of 31 July

Adding an additional DCP title £12

 Restoration to the DCP register £144 

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