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What’s Required for a Successful CQC Registration?

Updated: Jun 14

carer and service user walking in care home grounds

There’s a lot more to registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) than just filling in some forms, although that is still an important part of the process. Bettal can support you with quality documentation that is acceptable to the CQC, a lot has changed in terms of what prospective health and social care providers need in preparation for their registration.

What hasn’t changed are the values, skills and knowledge potential providers need. Setting yourself up as a care provider is emotionally and physically demanding and nobody should go into it thinking it’s an easy way to become their own boss or to make an easy living. That’s why, here at Bettal, we talk to hundreds of people aiming to gain CQC registration each year and provide free support over the phone for new customers.

Of course, registration is a necessity for providers of health and social care in England, as providing regulated activities, like personal care, without it is illegal.

What, then, does a business seeking CQC registration need to do to be successful?

Understand the Scope of Registration

Many businesses struggle with the registration process, because the people setting them up have a limited understanding of what being a social care provider means.

We recommend spending time on the CQC website in order to get to grips with the requirements for registration and gain an understanding of the terminology the CQC uses to describe its various elements.

Registration is the process by which the CQC judges your care services. Not only do they judge the understanding you need as a potential provider of the care sector, but also the readiness, ability and fitness you have to provide a service that is fully compliant with the regulations by which care in England must be run.

Some of the issues new providers need to understand better include:

  • What type of service you’re considering registering (e.g. domiciliary care or supported living)

  • The service user bands you will provide care for (e.g. people with physical and/or mental health needs (often termed specialisms))

  • The age categories you will support (e.g. adults 18-65 or 65+)

Many potential providers fail to understand the nature of regulated activities and how they relate to each other. For example, almost all domiciliary care services undertake personal care - a regulated activity - and register for such, whilst providers opening a care home, despite also providing personal care, aren’t required to register for this as it’s delivered as part of a separate regulated activity - accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care.

Know the Sector

If you’re applying to set up as a care provider, then you also need relevant experience in the type of care you’re planning to provide. It’s not at all straightforward starting up a domiciliary care agency if someone’s experience has always been in hospital care, as the needs people present with are vastly different - as are many elements of the approach to providing care.

While care experience in any setting is useful, it’s experience of winning tenders and gaining contracts with private clients that indicate that you’ll be able to generate the business you need to function as a new provider. This tends to mean having experience as a deputy manager or care lead is important for successful prospective social care providers.

Compliant policies and procedures

As part of the process of registering any social care business, you will need to upload a number of CQC compliant policies and procedures to the new registration portal. This is where we come in, as we not only know what these policies are, but have put them together in registration packs to support would-be registrants.

More importantly, these policies meet the CQC quality compliance standards and contain the correct information. For example, the CQC requires that the infection control policy contains information on how providers will assess the risk of infection and prevent, detect and control its spread.

More specifically, to be a CQC compliant policy and procedure it must state:

  • Your systems to manage and monitor the prevention and control of infection

  • How you will assess the risk of infection – consider how susceptible the users of your service are and any risks their environment and other people may pose to them

  • Reference to the code of practice on the prevention and control of infections, issued under the Health and Social Care Act 2008

  • The protocols relating to staff vaccination status

  • Access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and what will be available

At Bettal we have mapped CQC’s Quality Statements  with Bettal’s policies and procedures so that the inspector can find each statement within each policy and procedure. Other documents you need include, for the first time, a copy of your Information Commissioner’s Office registration, as well as an actual copy of an insurance quote or certification for the business.

Some documents are not needed as part of the initial registration process, but the CQC requires registrants to declare that they can supply them on demand as part of the registration process. Such documents depend on the service type, but for social care providers include a business plan, staff training matrix and quality assurance policy.

CQC Quality Statements

Previously, during CQC registration, registrants had to answer questions about how they would meet each of the following requirements, ensuring care is:

  • Safe

  • Effective

  • Caring

  • Responsive

  • Well-led

Now, with the online registration, the requirement is to provide reassurance about each of the 34 quality statements. This attempt to get registrants to identify their approach to care compliance, while welcome, is extremely onerous and challenging. As such, we’ve created a list of prompts for each of the statements to help you tailor-make your own answers.

These prompts are designed to help you identify what it is the CQC wants within each answer.

Get in Touch

Understanding the CQC registration process has always been difficult due to the terminology used. As the process has changed, providers may find that they need support from a consultancy. If that’s the case for you, then we’re here to help at Bettal Quality Consultancy.

With an excess of 25 years of experience, we not only provide affordable policies and procedures for social care registration, but also guaranteed domiciliary care registration for our customers.

We have a comprehensive and regularly updated suite of policies, procedures and risk assessments tailored to all forms of social care provision, to support busy registered managers and their teams in registration and the provision of CQC compliant care once they have gained their CQC registration.

If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to browse our website, or get in touch with a member of our helpful team today.

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