BADN welcomes ARF by instalments

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, today welcomed the GDC decision to finally accept payment for the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) in instalments, after many years of lobbying by BADN.

Dental nurses will now be able to pay their ARF of £114 pa in four Direct Debit payments of £28.50 per quarter. To take advantage of the option in 2021, dental nurses need to log in to eGDC from early May and select the quarterly Direct Debit option no later than 31 May 2021. Further details will follow once the system has been set up.

BADN President Jacqui Elsden said:

BADN have been lobbying the GDC for some years to allow payment by instalments, but the answer was always that this would be too costly, and additionally that it was not possible under the current legal framework.

Dental nurses are the lowest paid members of the dental team, and many work part time. Our recent salary survey shows that the majority earn between £10k and £20k a year, and that 54% have to pay their own ARF, so a single large payment of £114 every July was a financial burden for many dental nurses, particularly recently.

£114 per year is still too high a fee for dental nurses, particularly given the circumstances of the last year when many dental nurses were not paid their full salaries (or even, in some cases, paid at all), but the GDC refused a request by BADN in 2020 to lower the ARF, even temporarily. We are however pleased that they have at least finally agreed to one of our proposals by allowing dental nurses to pay the ARF in instalments.

We hope that now the GDC have acknowledged the financial burden the ARF places on dental nurses, they will give further consideration to BADN’s two other proposals: that the ARF be lowered to a more realistic figure for dental nurses, and that a lower ARF be implemented for all dental professionals, not just dental nurses, who work part time.