Skills for Care

Safe and effective staffing requires you to #RecruitRight

26 Sep 2023

5 min read

Rob Hargreaves

  • CQC
  • Recruitment

Rob Hargreaves, Information Services Manager at Skills for Care explains what regulated providers will need to demonstrate and what support is available.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are rolling out their new Single Assessment Framework between November 2023 and March 2024. This new approach to monitoring and inspection will take a closer look at recruitment approaches to achieve the Safe Key question.


Quality Statement: Safe and effective staffing

The CQC have introduced new Quality Statements to specify what every regulated service will need to demonstrate. For the 'Safe and effective staffing' Quality Statement, the following is expected:

We make sure there are enough qualified, skilled and experienced people, who receive effective support, supervision and development and work together effectively to provide safe care that meets people’s individual needs.

The scope of the CQC focus will apply to recruitment all staff, including volunteers and unpaid carers. Inspectors will be looking for evidence of recruitment practice used to ensure your service maintains safe staffing levels and skills mix.

Building up a body of evidence about how you achieve this will be key to meet the new Quality Statement.


What will the CQC be looking for?

In addition to general compliance with the Quality Statement, the CQC will most likely want to see:

  • Evidence that you provide safe staffing levels at all times, shaped around the changing needs of the people you support.
  • How your use of workforce planning tools, systems and processes help you to ensure staff have the right mix of skills to deliver the care that's needed.
  • What contingencies you have in place to maintain safe staffing levels regardless of internal or external factors such as adverse weather, sickness and other challenges that might impact these.
  • How you ensure all paid and unpaid staff supporting your service have the right behaviours and attitudes to meet the standards of care expected.
  • Examples of how you vet new members of staff, undertaking the necessary background and identity checks and references to minimise the risk of employing those not suitable to work in care.
  • Insight into how you match new recruits with the people they support.

This isn't a definitive list but provides an indication of what evidence could be provided, backed up by the usual verbal and written evidence that the CQC will want to gather as part of monitoring and inspection.


Further recommendations

Since the Single Assessment Framework was announced, Skills for Care has been preparing for this major change to CQC inspection.

Our GO Online: Inspection toolkit was introduced earlier this year to offer regulated providers further recommendations of what might be needed to demonstrate the new Quality Statements.

The Safe section of the Inspection toolkit includes further recommendations about the new Safe and effective staffing Quality Statement. These are largely drawn from CQC inspection reports and other good practice approaches.

The recommendations are complemented by practical examples from regulated providers, as well as resources that can help you to strengthen your own recruitment practices.

As the CQC continue to roll out their Single Assessment Framework, we will incorporate more good and best practice into our Inspection toolkit so it becomes a useful resource to complement other recruitment support from Skills for Care.


Find more information and support to #RecruitRight with our spotlight page.

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