Care Quality Commission regulations

Working through the CQC regulations

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulate a range of care providers across England who are involved in delivering personal care.  This includes residential care, nursing homes and care agencies.

The CQC expect all regulated providers to comply with their Essential Standards for Quality and Safety.  The CQC will then regularly inspect providers to ensure the service they deliver is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people's needs and well-led.  

Currently 64% of care service providers in England are registered with the CQC, who monitor and regulate care organisations to make sure they are continuing to meet national standards.  

The CQC now rate regulated providers they inspect and make these findings publicly available.  Following their inspection, providers will be rated as either Outstanding, Good,  Requires Improvement or Inadequate.  

To coincide with the CQC revising their inspection process on 01 October 2014, Skills for Care has developed a comprehensive new resource called Recommendations for CQC Providers Guide.  

The guide includes our advice to regulated providers about how workforce development can help you to meet the regulations and set yourselves apart from other care organisations.  Click here to access this comprehensive guide.

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.  They monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet the  Essential Standards of Quality and Safety in care.  These are a set of reuglations that care providers in England are obliged to meet.

The vast majority of regulated providers require a Registered Manager who is ultimately responsible for the quality of care that is provided by the service.  It is the Registered Manager's responsibility to set the standards and ensure that the care service meets the regulations.

For those organisations who do not have to register with the CQC, meeting the requirements is still considered good practice.  

The CQC has recently published new handbooks to support their new approach to This document describes our approach to regulating, inspecting and rating adult social care services. 

  • The five key questions – is a service safe? Effective? Caring? Response to people’s needs? And is it well-led?
  • The ratings – to judge whether a service is inadequate, requires improvement, is good or outstanding

The CQC has produced a number of different versions of their handbooks tailored to different care services including; Community adult social care services and Residential adult social care services.  They can be accessed from the CQC website here.

More than half of all care providers in England have to register with the CQC. Whether or not you have to register depends on the type of care service that is being provided.   One of your first steps if setting up a new care organisation or changing provision within an existing service would be to contact the CQC to confirm if your service has to be registered.

CQC regulates providers of activity in England that would, typically, be provided in the following types of services:

  • care home services with nursing
  • care home services without nursing
  • specialist college services
  • domiciliary care services
  • extra care housing services
  • shared lives
  • supported living services
  • hospice services
  • hospice services at home.

If you are not sure if the service you provide would require CQC regulation, please contact them directly via: Care Quality Commission website or Helpline 03000 616161.

For adult social care employers based in other parts of the UK, you may wish to contact our counterpart organisations; The Care Council for WalesThe Scottish Social Services Council and the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

The Whistleblowing Helpline’s new publication Raising Concerns at Work: Whistleblowing Guidance for Workers and Employers in Health and Social Care, which Skills for Care has been involved in developing, is now available to download.

Key sections in the guidance include:

  • the importance of whistleblowing as an early warning system of problems, which research shows is often ignored
  • an outline of the legislation – the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
  • a flowchart of the whistleblowing process
  • top tips for workers who wish to raise concerns, and sources of advice and support for them
  • top tips for operational managers to respond positively when staff raise concerns
  • case studies of good practice, frequently asked questions, and further information and links.

To download the guidance click here.

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