In what continue to be uncertain times for the dental sector, a meeting of our Council has today set our budget for 2022 and, in doing so, confirmed the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) will remain the same next year.
Almost all of our income is generated by the fee, which all dental professionals pay to retain their registration. With such a high level of uncertainty and risk regarding both our income and required expenditure over the next 12 months, the decisions were taken to guarantee we will be able to fulfil our core purpose of ensuring patient safety and maintaining public confidence in the professions.
Speaking after Council, our Chief Executive and Registrar, Ian Brack, said:
“Council took into consideration the numerous risks to our income and the uncertainty regarding what we may be required to spend in 2022.
“A major risk to income continues to be the multiple effects of the pandemic which has impacted on the recovery and capacity of the sector, and retains the ability to impose further pressure. This could lead to a reduction in the number of registered dental professionals. Uncertainty about the timetable for regulatory reform means that we need to plan to continue to operate under the current legislation while being ready to change how we will operate when new legislation takes effect. In addition to the more general uncertainties such as the impact of inflation which – while of course affecting us all – nevertheless can have a significant impact on our organisation as almost all our income comes from the ARF, which we collect twice a year."
Council approved an increase of 4.1% in the operating budget, which equates to £39.7m for the year. This follows the reduction of 6.5% the previous year.
In addition to setting the budget and ARF, Council also approved our Costed Corporate Plan for 2022-24 - which details planned strategic activity – and confirmed our reserves policy would remain unchanged. You can read more about the how Council approached these important questions in last week’s blogpost from Council member Terry Babbs.