BADN Statement on the Proposed Increase to the ARF

8 September 2014

Who’s Speaking  Up for the Dental Nurse?

President Fiona Ellwood sets the record straight on behalf of the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) about the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) hike.

Fiona responds on behalf of the Association amidst all the mixed messages which have appeared, either in the press or across numerous social media sites. It is clear that there has been some real scare mongering taking place and as a direct result this has led to much confusion.

BADN would like to set the record straight and assure dental nurses that the potential rise in their ARF is not a whopping 64%, but rather 6.7%. This equates to a potential increase of £8.00 per annum as of July 2015, making the dental nurses ARF £128. Where the confusion lies is that the dentists’ ARF is potentially set to rise 64%, taking their ARF to £945 per-annum.

BADN are obviously concerned about this rise in the ARF and the impact it will have on the dental nursing profession, given that dental nurses are generally the lowest earners in the profession, many earning just minimum wage, and often holding down two jobs just to make ends meet.

Fiona points out that the ARF has slowly crept up, since the registration period began in 2006 and then became mandatory in 2008, as shown below.   During the period until 2005, dental nurse registration with the Voluntary National Register (VNR) was voluntary, and should not be confused with Statutory Registration with the General Dental Council (GDC).

Voluntary Registration  – Voluntary National Register of Dental Nurses (VNR)
Period Fee
1997 – 2000 £5
2001 – 2004 £5
2005 £5
GDC Registration        (window)
2006 – 2008 £72.00 (valid from date of registration until July 2009)
Statutory GDC Registration
2008 – 2010 £96.00
2011 – 2014 £120.00
2015 £128.00 (potential fee)

It is easy for some to say that £8 is not a huge amount, but the ARF has to be relative to the earning potential and capacity of the individual – and, of course, the additional expenditure of being a registrant – i.e. indemnity and continual professional development – must also be borne in mind.

 BADN are keen to seek reassurance from the GDC that if this increase is implemented,  it will be frozen and not be an annual occurrence. Dentistry is desperately short of dental nurses and the last thing we need is an annual retention fee that becomes untenable; BADN urged all dental nurses to participate in the ARF consultation, which closed on 4 September 2014.

Fiona urges dental nurses to join BADN, to create a  greater voice, which has a greater potential to  be heard and be heeded.

To join BADN visit  and follow the prompts.   Registered Dental Nurses taking out Full Membership with insurance cover can join on line; those wanting Full Membership without cover, or Associate Membership (ie student dental nurses) can download, complete and return the application forms or contact our membership administration team on 01253 338366 who will be only too happy to support and guide you through the process.   Members can then take advantage of the benefits of membership which include:

  • Access to digital quarterly editions of the “British Dental Nurses’ Journal” which includes up to 8 hours free verifiable CPD
  • Free legal advice and/or counselling from our telephone legal/counselling helplines
  • Discounted members’ rates at the National Dental Nursing Conference (up to 7 hours  CPD) and other BADN events
  • Members only area of the BADN website with articles and information
  • “BADN Benefits” which offers discounts and special offers on a wide range of goods and services (home/car/travel insurance, gyms, shopping, travel, cinemas, car services, magazine subscriptions, Apple products, mobile phones and  eating out …. and so much more)
  • Student dental nurses who are BADN Student Associate Members are now eligible for an NUS extra card (£10 for 13 months), offering discounts on 170 High Street stores and on line brands and book stores.