GDC sets budget and confirms ARF to stay at same level for 2022

21 October 2021
1 min read

In what continue to be uncertain times for the dental sector, a council meeting of the General Dental Council (GDC) has recently set its budget for 2022 and, in doing so, confirmed the annual retention fee (ARF) will remain the same next year. 

Almost all of the GDC’s income is generated by the fee, which all dental professionals pay to retain their registration. With such a high level of uncertainty and risk regarding both the organisation’s income and required expenditure over the next 12 months, the decisions were taken to guarantee the regulator will be able to fulfil its core purpose of ensuring patient safety and maintaining public confidence in the professions. 

Speaking after council, Ian Brack, GDC chief executive and registrar, said, “Council took into consideration the numerous risks to our income and the uncertainty regarding what we may be required to spend in 2022. 

“A major risk to income continues to be the multiple effects of the pandemic which has impacted on the recovery and capacity of the sector, and retains the ability to impose further pressure. This could lead to a reduction in the number of registered dental professionals. Uncertainty about the timetable for regulatory reform means that we need to plan to continue to operate under the current legislation while being ready to change how we will operate when new legislation takes effect. In addition to the more general uncertainties such as the impact of inflation which – whilst of course affecting us all – nevertheless can have a significant impact on our organisation as almost all our income comes from the ARF, which we collect twice a year.  

Council approved an increase of 4.1 per cent in the operating budget, which equates to £39.7m for the year. This follows the reduction of 6.5 per cent the previous year. 

In addition to setting the budget and ARF, council also approved the GDC’s costed corporate plan for 2022-24 – which details the regulator’s planned strategic activity – and confirmed its reserves policy would remain unchanged. For further information about how the council approached these important questions, read council member Terry Babbs’ blog post on the GDC’s website.