CQC standards

The CQC have 13 fundamental standards that all health and social care providers must meet. Under these standards you must provide:

Person-centred care

You must provide individuals with care or treatment that’s tailored to their specific needs and preferences. You should consult with them to understand what they need, make reasonable adjustments where practicable, and ensure they fully understand their choices and decisions.

Dignity and respect

Without fail, you must treat every single person in your care with dignity and respect. Broadly speaking, this can be split into three core areas:

  • Providing people with privacy;
  • Supporting individuals’ autonomy, independence and involvement in the community – as little or much as they wish; and
  • Not discriminating against anyone because of their age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or marriage or civil partnership status.


Retaining care workers

When decisions need to made about peoples’ care and treatment, you should provide sufficient support and ensure they have all relevant information to make an informed decision.

Before proceeding with any care or treatment, you must obtain lawful consent. In doing this, you must be mindful of individuals’ capacity and ability to consent and, if they’re unable to provide it themselves, should be lawfully gained from someone acting on their behalf.


The care and treatment you provide must be safe at all times. This must be achieved by:

  • Assessing the risk of care or treatment to individuals’ health and safety before any action is taken;
  • Ensuring all employees are competent, and have relevant qualifications, skills and experience to keep people safe;
  • Maintaining the safety and condition of your premises and equipment;
  • Storing sufficient supplies of medicine, and ensuring it’s safely managed, administered and disposed of; and
  • Preventing and controlling the spread of infection.

Safeguarding from abuse

While under your care, individuals must not be subject to any form of abuse or improper treatment. To meet this standard, you must roll out at a clear, zero tolerance stance to abuse, unlawful discrimination and restraint.

This includes, but is not limited to: neglect; undignified treatment; unnecessary or disproportionate restraint; and deprivation of liberty. You must have comprehensive policies and procedures in place to eliminate any form of abuse from taking place.

Food and drink

People in your care must be supplied with enough to eat and drink as is required to sustain life and good health. You should put appropriate controls in place to ensure people do not suffer from malnutrition or dehydration.

Nutritional needs must be assessed from the outset, and you must provide food – this includes nutritional supplements and/or parenteral nutrition – that meets these needs. Preferences, religion and cultural requirements should also be taken into consideration.

Premises and equipment

Any buildings or equipment used to provide care or treatment must be clean, fit for purpose, well-maintained and suitably located/stored.


Individuals receiving your care and treatment must be aware of how to raise any complaints. Your system must be easily accessible, and effectively identify, handle and respond to any complaints received.

Every complaint received must be investigated and, if failures are found, action should be taken to make improvements.

Good governance

You must have sufficient systems and processes in place to maintain a desired level of quality in the service you provide. Your systems and processes must allow you to effectively assess, monitor and improve on current practices.

Your systems and processes must also assess, monitor and reduce any health, safety and welfare risks to people using your service.

In addition, you must ensure that all staff and service-user records are secure, accurate, complete and detailed at all times.


You must employ enough qualified, competent and experienced staff, so that you’re able to meet the needs of people in your care.

Where necessary, staff should receive support, supervision, training, professional development opportunities and appraisals, to enable them to effectively carry out their role.

Fit and proper staff

Government extends enforcement suspension

Your recruitment process should be consistent and thorough, to ensure that you only employ individuals who’re capable of providing care and treatment relevant to their role and regulatory standards.

It’s not enough to just have a robust recruitment and checking process. You must continually monitor staff to ensure they’re still fit for the job, and have a clear process in place for those that aren’t.

Duty of candour

Without fail, people receiving care and treatment – or people lawfully acting on their behalf – must be provided with open and transparent information with regards to their care or treatment.

If something goes wrong when providing an individual with care or treatment, there are several specific requirements you must follow, including: letting them know about the incident; offering support; providing truthful information; and apologising.

Display of ratings

To provide the public and people using services with transparency, you must display your service’s CQC rating. Your rating will let people know whether your service is outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

Your rating must be displayed in each of your premises that a regulated activity takes place, and on your website (if you have one).

How do these relate to you?

If you’re a health or social care provider in England, each and every one of the CQC’s fundamental standards applies to you.

Failure to comply with any standards that would constitute a criminal offence could result in direct prosecution.

For breaches that don’t constitute a criminal offence, you could be subject to: certain conditions set by the CQC; suspension of your registration; or cancellation of your registration. Going against any of these enforcements is a criminal offence and could result in prosecution.

How we can help

We created our very own online tool – CQC Pro – to help you keep on top of your regulatory responsibilities.

With CQC Pro, you can quickly identify where you are in relation to the CQC’s standards, and easily prioritise any actions. It also allows you to seamlessly store and present any evidence, so that it’s at your fingertips when an inspector calls.

For more information on how we can start helping you and your business, get in touch with the team today or call us on 0345 844 1111.


Get more information

Pop in your details and we'll call you straight back

We'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap