The GDC Forecasts Expenditure Increase For 2022

The GDC Forecasts Expenditure Increase For 2022

The General Dental Council has forecast an expenditure increase of 5.8% for 2022, compared to 2021. 

In October, the GDC Council will be reviewing Annual Retention Fee levels. The GDC fixed ARF fees for  three-years, in 2019.

The GDC’s projection was  published in its Costed Corporate Plan 2022. The GDC says it hopes the publication will support its “ambition of creating greater understanding of the relationship between our regulatory activity and the fees that we charge.”

The regulator has justified the forecast increase by referring to “Increasing capacity and capability in our Fitness to Practise and Registration directorates and to address operational activity necessarily deferred because of the pandemic.”

The GDC said on its website “This programme of work further progresses our aim of being a fair, transparent and cost-effective regulator.”

GDC Chief Executive and Registrar, Mr Ian Brack said in the introduction to the plan “It proved necessary to increase our budget for 2022 by 5.8%, compared to 2021. This was due in part to the costs associated with increasing the capacity of our Fitness to Practise and Registration teams to improve our performance in these vital statutory functions.”

The GDC said in its publication that its ‘core strategic ambition’ remains focussing “More on prevention and upstream activities, reducing the risk of harm occurring and, over time, reduce the need to deal with the consequences of harm having occurred.”

Among strategic aims the GDC has listed as  due to be completed in 2022, the regulator hopes to complete a review of the scope of practice for all titles and implement a process for mediated entry to specialist lists.

Interestingly, one of the GDC’s ‘strategic aims 1’ projects is to “Improve the tone of voice of our communications” which appears to be a consequence of the negative feedback the regulator received from its stakeholder perceptions survey in 2021.

Comparing the forecast expenditure by strategic aim for this year compared to 2021, the GDC said “The total forecast expenditure for 2022 is £40.63m, compared with the agreed budget for 2021 of £38.39m, which is an increase of 5.8%.”

The regulator explained “This is due to the increased resource requirement across our Fitness to Practise and Registration directorates in addressing operational activity necessarily deferred as a result of the pandemic, and increasing our operational effectiveness.”

“Additional funding was also required to meet the increased cost of additional social distancing restrictions required to enable us to recommence the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) for a January 2022 sitting.”

The GDC went on “The total 2021 forecast is £34.88m, which is an underspend of £3.5m.”

“The key driver of this underspend has been the impact of the pandemic. For example, we were unable to run the ORE throughout 2021, and we have seen an increase in deferred operational activity, mainly in fitness to practise. We expect it will take us until Quarter 4 to catch up on this pipeline of deferred activity.”

The GDC confirmed in its publication that the Annual Retention Fee level paid by dentists and dental care professionals will be reviewed again in October 2022. The GDC Council  set the ARF levels for  three years, in 2019.

The GDC’s income forecast for 2022 is  £40.3M, with 91% of its income (£36,684,688) expected to come from the ARF.

The GDC expects fees from  the resumed Overseas Registration Examination to bring in £1,587,728 (3.9% of its income), while specialist fees and registration application fees are forecast to bring in £74,220 and £1,966,915 respectively.

The GDC’s Costed Corporate Plan 2022 can be accessed here.

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