Annual Retention Fee (ARF) Increase 2014

On 30th October the GDC's Council has announced that the ARF for 2015 will be set at £890 for dentists (a rise of 55%) and £116 for DCPs. The Council has reached its decision after consideration of the forecasts and budget predictions for 2015-2017 which have been reviewed by KPMG. The Council acknowledged that the primary driver for operational expenses is the increase in FTP complaints about dentists which has increased by 110% over the last three years.

The BDA believes the consultation process leading up to the ARF has been flawed and as such the decision for the increase has been unlawful. Consequently the BDA has initiated a judicial review which will be heard on 17th December. 

An argument made by DPL is that the GDC has calculated the ARF increase on the assumption that complaints will continue to rise, leading to a subsequent increase in FTP hearings. However this does not take into account any re-assessment of the current approach to the handling of complaints which may not lead to the increase in expenditure that the GDC anticipates. For example, there is now an increase in the clinical advice input at the early stages of a complaint which may reduce the number of cases that are referred to the Investigating Committee.

What are our Divisional members' views?