GDC introduces option to pay ARF by instalments

A new pay by instalments option for the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) has been announced by the General Dental Council today, designed to support dental professionals who pay their own fee by enabling them to spread the cost over the year with quarterly Direct Debits. For dental care professionals (DCP) this works out as four payments of £28.50 and for dentists it is four payments of £170.

To take advantage of the option in 2021, DCPs need to log in to eGDC from early May and select the quarterly Direct Debit option no later than 31 May 2021. The regulator is working to get this new option set up and says it will be in touch with DCPs when they are able to sign up.

GDC Chief Executive and Registrar, Ian Brack, says:

“We know that many dental professionals want more flexibility in how they pay the ARF and so we will be introducing a pay by instalments option. Detailed feasibility work has been completed and work is underway to make the necessary changes to our systems to allow us to offer this to DCPs this year.

“We expect this work to be complete by early May and DCPs who want to pay quarterly will then need to sign up by 31 May. Detailed guidance will follow nearer the time.”

Dentists who wish to pay their ARF by instalments will be able to select this option later in the year.


Notes to Editor

 The new pay by instalments options enables dental professionals who pay their own fee to pay their ARF by quarterly direct debit. For dental professionals this will be four payments of £28.50 and for dentists it will be four payments of £170. Further detail will be published online by early May.

The General Dental Council (GDC) is the UK-wide statutory regulator of just over 113,000 members of the dental team, including approximately 42,000 dentists and 70,000 dental care professionals. Our primary purpose is to protect patient safety and maintain public confidence in dental services. To achieve this, we register qualified dental professionals, set standards of dental practice, investigate complaints about dental professionals' fitness to practise, and work to ensure the quality of dental education. The Dentists Act 1984 provides the legislative framework for our work. For more information visit

The GDC’s 2020-2022 strategy: Right time, right place, Right touch details the regulators planned activity across five strategic aims and the introduction of registration application fees was explored in the strategy’s consultation. The approach is captured by strategy’s title; ‘Right time’, to illustrate the GDC’s continued focus on developing its approach to upstream regulation, ‘Right place’, to describe the continued work to support issues resolution by the correct organisation and to promote local complaint resolution wherever possible, and ‘Right-touch’, to highlight the regulator’s commitment to ensuring its enforcement activity is evidence-based and proportionate.


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