The annual retention fee (ARF) payment period for the UK’s 36,900 registered dentists has kicked off in the run up to the 31 December deadline.
The General Dental Council (GDC) has taken the decision not to increase the fee this year. It remains at £438.
The GDC hopes dentists will take advantage of the opportunity to set up a Direct Debit to pay their fee. Last year almost 60% of dentists did. It not only takes a financial commitment off their mind, but also reduces administration costs for the GDC, as it endeavours to use the fee as sensibly as possible. Direct Debits need to be set up by 13 November; payments will be taken on 3 December.
Professionals can download a form from the GDC website here. They can even set up a multiple Direct Debit mandate which enables them to pay the fees of several registrants from one bank or building society account.
Until 31 December, dentists can also join the growing numbers who are choosing to pay by credit or debit card online at the eGDC portal or over the phone. Letters with payment instructions and telephone numbers have been sent out to dentists, although these may be delayed because of the postal strike. More information will also be available on the GDC website here.
GDC Director of Operations, Edward Bannatyne, said: ‘If you haven’t set up an account on eGDC yet, go to www.eGDC-uk.org. We have improved the account creation process since last year’s ARF collection, so making your payment online will be much easier. Registering on the site can now be done instantly, meaning there’s no wait for a letter containing a password, providing you have an ID verification code. If you don’t have your code you can request one on the site, by SMS or by letter. Remember if you ignore the deadline and don’t pay, you will lose your place on the register and will have to go through our restoration process and pay an additional fee in order to be able to practise legally.’