Internet Explorer and Edge browser users:
To download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files please right-click on the file you wish to download, and select 'Save target as...'

Updates from week commencing 13 February 2023

Read all the updates that took place throughout this week.

Friday 17 February 2023


Going Fizz Free for February 

This February take part in Fizz Free February as an easy way to improve your health and help reduce your sugar intake for the rest of the year.

Fizzy drinks are the largest single source of sugar in children aged 11-18 years and provide 29% of their daily sugar intake, with one can of Coca-Cola containing around 7 teaspoons of sugar.

Excess sugar can lead to tooth decay, the leading cause of hospitalisation for children aged between 5 and 9 years, and weight gain, as sugary foods can be high in calories and saturated fat. This can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Challenge your family and friends to go fizz free this February and get more tips on how to make smart sugar swaps using the NHS Better Health for healthier families advice.


Changes to GDC legislation affecting international registration


The General Dental Council (GDC) have confirmed important changes to the legislation governing international routes to registration this week. The reforms make some immediate changes affecting some Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) candidates, and those with an overseas diploma in dentistry who want to apply to the GDC register.

The GDC stress that the standards that apply for registration have not changed:

  • Those who have been unable to sit Part 2 of the Overseas Registration Exam, will now have more time to sit the exam, but will need to act decisively to ensure they secure a place before their time limit expires
  • Those who hold an overseas diploma in dentistry only (degree or diploma that qualifies someone as a dentist), will no longer be able to apply to join the register as a dental care professional.

The GDC will be consulting stakeholders on proposals for new rules and processes for the ORE but stress that this will take time and will not provide a quick fix to access and workforce issues facing the profession.




BDA Good Practice: Our quality assurance scheme

Do you own or work for a dental practice operating in the United Kingdom and want to learn more about BDA Good Practice?


Our quality assurance scheme allows its members to communicate to patients an ongoing commitment to working to standards of good practice on professional and legal responsibilities. Members have access to advice and practice resources, exclusive courses to help grow a confident team, marketing materials to promote your practice, templates to help you engage with your patient base and to obtain positive reviews and much more. 


Subscribe to our mailing list, to learn more about the scheme or contact and someone from the team will get in touch.

Thursday 16 February 2023


Changes to HMRC guidance on status: do you need new associate agreements?

Following our update yesterday regarding associate dentists being considered self-employed, practice owners may wish to make sure they are using our up-to-date model associate agreements that accurately reflect individual working relationships.


In April 2019, we updated our model associate agreements to better reflect the control that self-employed people should have over their business affairs, and the commercial risks they face. Those associate agreements were reviewed by tax expert Jolyon Maugham KC, who advised that associates who were engaged on those terms would likely be considered self-employed.


Associates engaged on previous versions of our associate agreements may find that they have less control over how they work and that could impact how HMRC assess their self-employed status.


Members looking to review their associate contracts should read the updated contracts carefully and agree terms with the other party. It is important that the updated contract accurately reflects how the associate and practice owner work together.


The contract is not the only factor that determines self-employed status. It is important that associates and practice owners respect both the control and the commercial risk that self-employed associates have.


Members should note that, in December 2022, we updated our associate agreements for NHS associates in England. The update is not directly connected with the change to the HMRC guidance. We will be updating the rest of our suite of associate agreements in our new style.


If you need any advice, our expert advisors provide Extra and Expert members throughout the UK with unlimited, one-to-one advice. Call 020 7935 0875 or email




Wales: Rationing of dental care in the NHS

The Senedd Health Committee's new report emphasises the need to measure the unmet needs in NHS care and for the Welsh Government to review whether reducing backlogs is possible with the current level of funding.

In an open letter to the Chief Dental Officer for Wales, the Chair of the Welsh General Dental Practice Committee stressed an increase in practices leaving the NHS to remain viable.

End-of-year reconciliation threatens practices with major clawback against a backdrop of rising inflation. As ministers hide the rationing of care behind an access boost, services are being taken from existing patients leaving them with no options.

Wednesday 15 February 2023


Associate self-employment HMRC guidance change


From April 2023 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is changing its guidance on associate dentists being considered self-employed.

Specifically, the section in the guidance that refers to our model associate agreement will be withdrawn as of April.

However, this change to the guidance in itself, won't impact the self-employment status of individual associate dentists.

It is vital for practice owners and associates to be aware of issues and factors that make an associate employed, especially those leaning towards self-employment.

HMRC won't accept an associate as self-employed just because they use a BDA model associate agreement. Practice owners will have to demonstrate self-employment for new and existing associates through the status test, usually via HMRC's Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool.




Wales: UDA-only contract option - potential port in the storm 

In the forthcoming financial year, the UDA-only GDS contract option might work better for some practices. Currently, 20% of practices feel that the new volumetrics won't serve patients well, especially in high needs areas, and we are hearing this percentage could grow in the next financial year.

The 2023-24 GDS reform volumetric targets were announced by the Chief Dental Officer before Christmas, stating that practices could choose the UDA-only option as an alternative to the reform volumetrics offer. Dan Cook explains why this choice made more sense for his practice. 

Our survey is open until Monday, let us know your intentions so we can better support you through GDS contract reform.



Tuesday 14 February 2023


HMRC guidance on the self-employed status of associate dentists will change

In April 2023, HMRC guidance on the self-employed status of associate dentists will change. Having a good associate agreement alone will no longer be a good indicator of who is truly self-employed.

We have taken advice and believe that associates engaged on and working to our model associate agreement are self-employed. HMRC has a Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool which includes several stages to explore the status of associate dentists. 

For more information on what you need to know, please see our advice blogs from James Goldman on associate contracts and Paul Tucker about the tax implications.


CPD hub upgrade

We have recently carried out some work to our CPD Hub, making several upgrades with a new, sleek design.
Our CPD Hub gives you access to user-friendly, high quality CPD on a range of topics from oral cancer recognition to safeguarding children.
You can track, record, and earn CPD on the hub and all UK-registered dental professionals can sign up for free.

Monday 13 February 2023


Scotland: The future of reform

It's a decisive moment for NHS dentistry in Scotland. The Scottish Dental Practice Committee (SDPC) is entering a process of formal engagement with the Scottish Government to discuss fee allocation for the revised Determination 1 of the Statement of Dental Remuneration.


We called for the continuation of the interim financial support, originally due to end in April 2023. As a response, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care has extended the payment until October 2023.

Moving towards payment reform negotiations, we want to know the views of the profession are heard Please take part in this survey. We want to know what the ongoing uncertainty means for our members at this crossroad for NHS dental services in Scotland.

We will continue to work on your behalf to ensure that the future of NHS dentistry and its financial stability is a priority to the Scottish Government and will continue to press for much needed reform.