GDC Annual Retention Fee Change

gdc fee change 2024In October 2023, the General Dental Council (GDC) announced the news that many dental nurses had been eager to hear – they were reducing the annual retention fee (ARF) for 2024. With the payment period due to open on 10th June, and remain open for payments until 31st July, it’s time to look at what the fee will be, and to know where it actually goes. 

GDC ARF 2024

Previous years have seen the GDC ARF vary: it has been £120 (2014), £116 (2015–2019), and £114 (2020-2023). This year, however, has the highest reduction of all, as the fee is reduced to just £96 – a 16% drop from last year. This reduction is a welcome piece of news to many a DCP – but how is it possible? 

According to the GDC, a robust planning process has ‘enabled us to increase our capacity to maintain or improve performance, as well as reduce the ARF’. Through discussions with the Council, it was determined that there could be a reduction in the DCP ARF for 2024. There is a hope that this reduction can be maintained in future, thanks to the Council setting fees at a more manageable level. While there is some uncertainty about future financial stability, for now, at least, we can rest easy with this generous reduction in registration cost.  

What is it used for?

Our annual retention fee ensures our registration with the GDC, which then allows us to legally work in dental establishments in line with our title (dentists, hygienists, and dental care professionals/DCPs). However, the GDC is more than our registration – it is a resource for the public, for our patients, which aims ‘to protect, promote, and maintain the health, safety, and well-being of the public.’

A working body defined by the Dentists Act 1984, the GDC has objectives that are focused on the health and safety of the public and on ensuring that their confidence in dentists and dental staff is maintained. It is responsible for the professional registers, for investigating those who fail to adhere to legislations, and it is vital to overseeing the dental industry as a whole. The ARF is used to fund this governing body, and helps to maintain the work that allows our patients to feel confident in their care. 

Paying your fee

Your ARF is a legal requirement for you to continue working in a clinical capacity, so it’s important you make your payment within the time frame mentioned above. This can be done by logging in to your eGDC account, where you will declare your indemnity and completed CPD hours (verifiable only), and make payment through card, direct debit, or quarterly instalments. Should you wish to make payment via instalments or direct debit, then you will need to complete the set-up by 31st May for it to be viable. 

Unlike in previous years, you will now need to request a physical copy of your Annual Practising Certificate, which can be done by ticking the relevant box upon making payment. If you do not tick this box, you will not receive the certificate. However, an electronic version will still be available on your eGDC account from 1st August once you have paid your fee and declared your indemnity.

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