How do I prepare for a CQC inspection?

Who are the Care Quality Commission (CQC)?

They are the independent regulator of Health and Social Care in England. They ensure that care services are safe, effective, caring, effective, responsive and well-led. They carry out inspections to ensure standards are being met and support care providers with continuous development and improvements to services. They also publish their views on major quality issues within the Health and Social Care sector via their independent voice.

Why do care providers need to register with CQC?

Any individual, partnership or organisation that provides regulated care services/activities, must be registered with CQC otherwise they are committing an offence.

Regulated activities can include (but are not limited to) services provided by care homes, hospices, domiciliary care, hospitals, doctors and dentists.

CQC monitor, inspect and report on whether providers are meeting the legal and regulatory requirements. These include the fundamental standards of quality and safety.

What are the CQC fundamental standards?

CQC have stated that the ‘fundamental standards’ are standards which care services must adhere to, and all individuals have rights to these. These standards are:

  • Person-centred care
  • Dignity and Respect
  • Consent
  • Safety
  • Safeguarding from abuse
  • Food and drink
  • Premises and equipment
  • Complaint procedures
  • Good governance
  • Staffing
  • Duty of candour
  • Display of ratings


What are the five questions that CQC ask of all care services?

CQC will use these following questions to help them decide on what is needed to focus on in an inspection. These questions are the following:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?


How do I register with CQC, and what do CQC assess?

  • You can register with CQC here. When they are looking at an applicant’s information and the services they provide or are intending to provide, they assess the following:
  • The suitability of the service
  • The amount of staff and the skillset of the staff
  • The size, layout and design of the places where they intend to provide care
  • Their policies, systems and procedures, and how effective CQC think they will be
  • How the service is run and how they plan to make future decisions

CQC will also assess whether a registered manager is of good character and whether they are fit for the role. Registered managers need to have the necessary qualifications and skills to be able to perform their role – these skills and knowledge can be acquired through a Level 5 Diploma. You can learn more about Access Skills’ Level 5 Diploma online.

What is the CQC nominated individual?

The CQC regulations also require a person be nominated to act as their main point of contact for the service. The conditions for selecting this person below are from the CQC website are below:

“The nominated individual must be employed as a director, manager or secretary of the organisation (i.e. they should be a senior person, with authority to speak on behalf of the organisation).

They must also be in a position which carries responsibility for supervising the management of the carrying on of the regulated activity (i.e. they must be in a position to speak, authoritatively, on behalf of the organisation, about the way that the regulated activity is provided).”

Ideally, that person should be separate from or senior to the Registered Manager so that there is an escalation process if needed.

For more information on this, please visit the CQC website.

For more information and guidance on how to start your registration with CQC, you can speak to one our specialist skills advisors today on 0121 510 2169 (option 1).


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We are a Skills for Care Endorsed Provider with strong sector partnerships and the official training partner of the National Care Association.

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