Skills for Care

Single Assessment Framework version

All services - change

GO Online: Inspection toolkit

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Environmental sustainability

Well-led now includes focus on how you are mitigating any negative impact your service has on environmental issues.

The following film provides a summary of this area of inspection. It can help you and your teams learn about what will be inspected and what is important to demonstrate to deliver good or outstanding care.

Introducing Environmental sustainability

Duration 01 min 36 sec

Well-led now focuses on how you are mitigating any negative impact your service has on environmental issues.

The CQC inspection focus will look at what you are doing to ensure the people you support and those working for your service make a positive contribution to reducing the impact on the environment.

Inspectors may look at how you raise awareness on environmental issues across the service, including associated training, discussions with people and staff, and other communications to grow knowledge and understanding.

Be prepared to demonstrate what you are doing to reduce the impact on your environment and how you are incorporating renewable energy, sustainable transport, and environmentally friendly waste management into your day-to-day working.

The focus will include looking at energy saving measures at your premises, both for residential homes and offices owned by community-based services. Inspectors may want to know about decision making processes in procurement policies that consider environmental matters.

As always, expect the CQC to interview people, managers and staff on these issues and be ready to back this up with associated policies and procedures, including environmentally friendly initiatives and their success.

To learn more about how you can meet this area of CQC inspection, take a look at GO Online.

Watch the film here:


These recommendations act as a checklist to what the CQC will be looking for. Skills for Care has reviewed hundreds of inspection reports and identified these recommendations as recurring good practice in providers that meet CQC expectations.

The CQC is non-prescriptive, which means they don’t tell you what must be done in order to meet their Quality Statement. These recommendations are not intended to be a definitive list and some recommendations might not be relevant to your service. We hope they help you reflect on what evidence you might wish to share with the CQC.

Environmental sustainability

  • The people we support are protected from the impacts of climate change through adaptation and mitigation plans.
  • We can evidence how we identify and mitigate against the negative impact of our service on the local environment (e.g., Net Zero audit etc.).
  • We ensure that any environmental sustainability plans we have in place (e.g., Net Zero) are reviewed regularly to track progress.
  • We can demonstrate what we are doing to lead by example on environmental matters (e.g., the use of renewable energy, sustainable travel and transport, medicines and environmentally friendly waste management).
  • We can evidence how environmental impact is a key consideration as part of our procurement policies and procedures (e.g., checking green credentials).
  • We can demonstrate how we encourage responsible ways of working (e.g., the adoption of energy saving at our home or premises, our Climate Commitment Pledge etc.)
  • We provide opportunities to the people we support to learn more about environmental issues and how to minimise the negative impact.
  • We provide training to our managers and staff team about environmental matters related to our service (e.g., waste reduction, climate change, environmental sustainability).
  • All staff are trained and aware of how to spot health issues arising from sudden onset environment related issues, such as overheating or increases in pollution levels.
  • We enable and supports our workforce to be aware of, and reduce their individual carbon footprint.
  • We provide regular opportunities to discuss our environmental impact with the people we support, staff team and others in our community.
  • Where we identify areas for improvement, we will secure the investment in resourcing the changes that are needed.
  • We work with partners across our local community to help address the wider environmental impact of health and social care.
  • We can demonstrate how our environmentally-friendly policies and procedures are having a positive impact on the people we support, our staff team, and the wider community.
  • We encourage our staff and team we support to give feedback and ideas to help us improve environmental sustainability at our service.

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