BDA slams ARF decision
ARF freeze is a choice, not a necessity says association
The British Dental Association (BDA) has criticised the GDC’s decision to keep the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) at an historic high of £890.
The regulator’s council voted unanimously to keep the ARF unchanged at the controversial 2015 figure, 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 called a ‘fig leaf’ cut.
Chair of the BDA’s Principal Executive Committee 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.”