Delivering good and outstanding care

Our ‘Good and outstanding care’ range draws on practical examples from Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports and regulated providers, to share best practice, help you prepare for inspection and improve your service.

The range includes free online guides, practical seminars and consultancy and tailored support.

This page includes information about:

CQC Monitoring and Inspection

The CQC has adapted how it monitors and inspects during the pandemic.

Since July 2021, the CQC has introduced a new monitoring approach where they will risk assess the need to inspect providers on a monthly basis. There will be a focus on 'safe' and 'well-led', but the CQC will potentially look at all areas of inspection.

The CQC will in most cases target inspections at areas of risk, sometimes limiting the inspection focus to where they have concerns but potentially, they may choose to undertake a full inspection. You can read more about these changes on the CQC website here.

In October 2021, Skills for Care produced a new webinar in collaboration with the CQC to help regulated providers understand the current Monitoring and Inspection process, as well as further changes expected in 2022.  The following resources complement this webinar:

What does good and outstanding care look like?

GO guide

Good and outstanding care guide

This guide shares recommendations and best practice from 'good' and outstanding' rated services, under each area of inspection. You can use the guide to benchmark what you're doing now and decide where to make improvements. Download your FREE copy of the guide 

Full workbook edition

The workbook edition is available to purchase on our online bookshop. The workbook edition includes activities and self-assessment checklists to assess your current performance and identify areas for improvement as well as exclusive online access.

  • Cost: £35
  • Registered Manager discount: £20

Purchase the workbook edition


SS guide

Guide to safe staffing

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

Download your free copy of the guide


Thumbnail GO videos

Videos: what does outstanding care look like?

These videos share what 'outstanding' rated services do on a day-to-day basis to ensure that they deliver high quality, person-centred care and support.

They can help you to understand what ‘outstanding’ care looks like and identify some of the changes that you could make in your service to achieve these ratings. You could also show the videos in your team or managers meetings to inspire everyone to want to achieve ‘outstanding’.

Watch the videos 

Improving your service

Guide to I

Guide to improvement

This guide explains how to identify, plan and implement improvements across your service, to ensure that it delivers high quality care and support and meets the CQC’s fundamental standards. It draws on ‘good’ and outstanding’ practice to help your service to, not only meet CQC expectations, but exceed them. It includes checklists and examples to help you to identify what your service needs to improve, and to develop an action plan to implement the required changes.

Download your free copy of the guide here. 

You can also buy the workbook edition of the guide which includes exercises and templates to help you plan and implement improvements in your service. They’ve been designed to help you reflect on the guide and consider how you can put your learning into practice.

Buy the workbook edition of the guide here.

Virtual seminars and support

Skills for Care has delivered a series of practical seminars to help you to understand the inspection process, identify the required changes to improve, and prepare for inspection, whatever your rating with the CQC. Our support has helped services be best prepared for their first inspection, built confidence across managers and staff team, empowered services to strive for outstanding or action areas for improvement.

With COVID-19 leading to changes to the CQC inspection process and our own limitations of face to face delivery, we are able to offer virtual support as part of our priced Consultancy Support offer.  If you want know more, please let us know what help you need by e-mailing

The Outstanding Society

The Outstanding Society is made up of outstanding-rated providers, who are the forefront of sector best practice and delivering better outcomes for people who need care and support. It's a voluntary group of residential adult social care providers, who come together to share whats works well and how they respond to changes, to help other services to improve. They also help Skills for Care to shape, test and refine new tools and resources. 

Watch this short film about how we work with the Outstanding Society, and others, to ensure that our advice and guidance reflects the latest learning, innovation and practical delivery of high quality care and support.

If you work for a private and/or independent adult social care residential service, that's currently rated ‘outstanding’ overall by the CQC, you can find out more about joining the society by emailing


Consultancy and tailored support 

Meeting with the locality manager has been insightful. They offered tips and advice I hadn't considered before. Their experience has been invaluable. Skills for Care provided the extra knowledge base and experience to help us meet our challenges.

Whether you’re striving for an outstanding rating or responding to a negative rating, Skills for Care can help. We’ll set up an initial scoping meeting with you to identify key areas for improvement and suggest practical solutions to do this.

Read our offer of support below, or download the PDF overview

We can help you to:

  • develop a positive workplace culture that supports improvement
  • review and revise your recruitment and retention strategies
  • implement new approaches to staff induction and ongoing support
  • review learning and development in your service and help you access funding for qualifications and apprenticeships
  • develop your leaders and managers to deliver well-led services, including succession planning.

You’ll then access five days of tailored support to help you write an action plan to implement these solutions. 

We’ll also deliver our ‘Making your inspection count’ seminar for up to 30 delegates in your organisation, to show you how to collect evidence and prepare for your next inspection. This will ensure that any improvements you make are reflected in your CQC rating. 

What we offer

£ from

Half a day scoping meeting with a Skills for Care locality manager
To identify areas for improvement and practical solutions to support you.

Dedicated five days of face to face, tailored support
To help you write an action plan and implement solutions. You can add additional days for £550 per day.

Making your inspection count seminar (delivered in a training room/ venue organised by you*)
To help you prepare for your next inspection. 

We’ll provide:

  • a full day seminar (usually 10.00 – 15.30)
  • delegate pack
  • up to 30 delegates.







*We can arrange a venue including lunch and refreshments for this workshop at an additional cost. Contact us for more details.

Registered Manager Membership (12 months)

When registered managers become a member, they’ll get exclusive access to our ‘Social care managers handbook’, practical resources, monthly newsletter and discounts. Find out more

Good and outstanding care guide (workbook edition)

This guide shows the key characteristics that differentiate CQC ratings and shares recommendations and best practice under each key line of enquiry. This workbook edition has activities to help you prepare for inspection and improve your rating. 

Add both of these options for £55 per delegate.

If you want our support to improve your CQC rating, please get in touch on: