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​ARF freeze a choice, not a necessity

23 November 2015

The British Dental Association (BDA) has slammed the GDC's decision to keep professional fees at an historic high of £890.  

The regulator's Council voted unanimously to keep the annual retention fee (ARF) unchanged, following a consultation that drew 907 responses.

Council members were asked to choose between the status quo and a small reduction in the fee level to £840, an alternative which the BDA branded a ‘fig leaf’ cut.

BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said:

"The GDC seems determined to cling to its status as the most expensive and least effective health regulator in Britain. Certainly neither of the fee options that were on the table today ever threatened to take its crown away.

"Starting to bring registrants' fees in line with comparable professions could have sent the clearest possible signal that lessons have finally been learned. Instead what we saw was a regulator so wedded to past mistakes that it even dispensed with fig leaf cuts.

"The GDC's whole approach to fees is borne of choice not necessity. It is supporting a strategy and a mentality that will see the regulator continuing to operate well beyond its legal remit. We needed to see evidence that the GDC was prepared to focus on its day job, and reengage positively with the profession. Today proves we have a regulator incapable of delivering on needed change, and just why we have a responsibility to challenge its failed leadership and failed governance whenever we see it."

About the BDA

The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association and trade union for dentists in the UK. It represents dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces, and includes dental students. The BDA promotes members’ interests, advances the science, arts and ethics of dentistry, and contributes towards improving the nation's oral health.

For further information, please contact the BDA's media team on 0207 563 4145/46 or visit the BDA's news centre. You can also follow news from the BDA on Twitter. Membership packages reflect the varied needs of dentists.