GDC update: 2023 budget and ARF decisions

Council agrees ARF for 2023 at levels lower than previously indicated 

Our Council has agreed the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) at levels lower than we indicated when we previously consulted on our strategic plans for the next three years. 

In 2023 the ARF will be:

  • £690 for dentists (an increase of 1.5%)
  • £114 for dental care professionals (no change)

Council has approved our Costed Corporate Plan with a 2.3% increase in the operating budget of £42.3m for 2023 at a time of considerable economic uncertainty. Inflationary pressures are contributing to that uncertainty with the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rising to 10.1% in the 12 months to September 2022.

Faced with such uncertainty, Council has set the ARF at levels that ensures we can continue to fulfil our statutory role, and sensibly manage financial risks caused by inflation. We have been able to keep the ARF at levels lower than we anticipated because:

  • we listened to your feedback during the consultation exercise
  • have absorbed inflationary increases where possible
  • challenged our own costs, as set out in our proposed expenditure plans.

We explained in our consultation that because inflation is high, we may need to increase the ARF in 2024 and in 2025. While this may mean less certainty over ARF levels in the coming years, it has enabled us to keep the 2023 fee as low as possible.

GDC Chief Executive and Registrar, Ian Brack said:

“In the current uncertain and volatile economic climate, it’s essential that we manage financial risks – particularly those relating to inflation. We’re confident that our expenditure plans will ensure we are able to fulfil our primary role of maintaining patient safety and public confidence.

“While we will continue to aggressively manage costs, as we have said, we may need to increase the level of the fee in the future. Any such increase will, at most, be in line with the rate of inflation at the time, or as a result of other exceptional and unanticipated circumstances.”

Further information about the ARF levels for 2023, including an explanation of the GDC’s financial reserves, can be found on our website.