CQC provider support

Having enough of the right staff, with the right skills and led by confident managers can help you meet CQC standards.

We can help you meet Care Quality Commission (CQC) fundamental standards, prepare for your next inspection and improve your service.

Your staff are your most valuable resource and are vital to the quality of care and support you provide, so it’s important that you recruit the right people, develop and lead them effectively. Getting this right can help you achieve a positive CQC rating, improving your reputation with the public, customers and commissioners.

If you’re a new provider and want to know how we can support you, visit this webpage.

You can read more about what the CQC do and their handbooks to help on their website here.

How does the CQC work?

If you’re regulated by the CQC you should meet their fundamental standards – these are the minimum standards of care that they expect from all services. They ensure you do this through regular inspections.

During inspections, the CQC will ask five key questions of all care services. Click on the arrows below to find out how we can help you meet these questions.

We can help you ensure you have enough staff, who are safely recruited and know how to keep people safe.

We can help you train and support staff, ensure they comply with legislation and know how to support people’s health and wellbeing.

We can help you and your staff build effective relationships, treat people with dignity and provide emotional support.

We can help you ensure your staff deliver person-centred care and support, plan activities and use technology to help your service deliver high quality care and support.

We can help you ensure your service is governed effectively and led by competent and confident leaders and managers, who are committed to quality assurance, continually improving and developing a positive workplace culture.

Get the basics right: Recommendations for CQC providers guide

Having enough of the right staff, with the right skills and led by confident managers can help you meet CQC standards.

Our ‘Recommendations for CQC providers guide explains what CQC expects to see about your:

  • leaders and managers
  • recruitment and retention
  • induction
  • learning and development.

It links to the products and services we have to help you.

If you’re a new service or manager, this guide is a good place to start. If you’re an experienced service or manager it’s a good reminder of the useful resources we have.

Download our 'Recommendations for CQC providers' guide

What does good and outstanding care look like?

Before an inspection or when you’ve received your report following one, there might be specific areas of your service which you want to focus on.

'Good and outstanding care' guide

This guide draws on tips and practical examples from providers already rated good and outstanding. It shows what differentiates CQC ratings and shares recommendations and best practice under each area of inspection.

If you’re already rated good or outstanding, it'll help you maintain or improve your rating. If your service requires improvement, it'll help you avoid some of the common mistakes and take a proactive approach to improving standards.

Download our 'Good and outstanding care' guide

You can also purchase the workbook edition which has activities and self-assessment checklists to assess your current performance and identify areas for improvement.

Buy your copy from our bookshop.

*New November 2018* Guide to safe staffing - meet CQC regulations for safe staffing 

This guide explains what the CQC will inspect around safe staffing and will help you decide and maintain safe staffing levels, embed safe recruitment practices and ensure your staff are safe and competent.

Download our 'Guide to safe staffing'

Prepare for inspection: 'Making your inspection count' seminar

This seminar will help you understand, prepare for and implement the changes to CQC inspections that were introduced in November 2017. 

You’ll learn about the changes, what inspectors are looking for and how you can evidence this. You’ll also access an evidence and action planning tool to help you put your learning into practice and steps in place to prepare for your next inspection. 

We don't have any open seminars available at the moment. We can come into your organisation to deliver this seminar for up to 30 delegates, and customise the content to focus on specific areas of your inspection. Find out more about this seminar, how much it costs and how to get in touch if you're interested. 

Find out more about our 'Making your inspection count' seminar

Tailored support for your service

Our team of experts work closely with the CQC and services every day, so we know what inspectors expect and what this looks like in practice.

Whether you’re preparing for inspection or if you’ve just been inspected, we can come and work with you to identify areas for improvement and suggest practical solutions to do this. 

If you’d like to find out more about how we can support your service, contact your locality manager – you can find their details here.

Other resources to help - Care Improvement Works

Care Improvement Works’ is an online collection of guides, practical tools and learning materials from across the sector (including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)) to help you improve in specific areas of your inspection. The resources are split up into each area of CQC inspection so it’s easy to find what you need. 


In CQC regulated services, the registered manager is legally responsible and accountable for meeting the CQC’s fundamental standards. So they need the right values, skills, qualifications and experience to do their role well.

If someone wants to become a registered manager they need to apply with the CQC.

The leadership and management section of our ‘ Recommendations for CQC providers guide’ explains more about this.

We have lots of support for registered managers to help them in their role, including membership.

When you become a member, you get exclusive access to our ‘Social care manager’s handbook’, monthly newsletters and peer support.

You can also join your local registered manager’s network which gives you the chance to regularly meet with like-minded peers who face similar, everyday challenges.

Find out more about how we can support registered managers here


If you’re setting up a new care organisation in England or changing an existing service you need to contact the CQC to see if your service has to be registered. You can do this via the  Care Quality Commission website or helpline 03000 616161.

In England, you can’t start delivering regulated care services until the CQC has granted approval – this can take a number of weeks, sometimes months to achieve. If you don’t have to register with the CQC it’s still considered good practice to meet their regulations.

If you’re based in other parts of the UK, you may wish to contact  Social Care WalesThe Scottish Social Services Council and the  Northern Ireland Social Care Council.