Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

13th November 2014

The Mum Test

I have been looking at the papers recently published by the Care Quality Commission and there are many references to the Mum Test. What is the Mum Test?

You are right there are a number of references in the recently published CQC documents to the Mum Test.

I had a quick look at the CQC website and found this blog by Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission about this very subject:


I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about the Mum Test. When we published a fresh start for the regulation and inspection of adult social care in October 2013, I wrote in my introduction:

“To make sure our regulatory approach is truly personalised I want us to consider for every service we look at – is this good enough for my Mum (or any other member of my family)? If it is, that is fantastic. If it’s not, then we need to do something about it.

This was rapidly popularised as The Mum Test, probably assisted by my use of a photograph of my Mum in presentations about our new approach to illustrate the point! The photo was taken on my wedding day, and as it had taken me nearly 17 years to persuade my husband to marry me, she was looking pretty happy!”


So that’s what the Mum Test is and the resulting 5 questions are what form the basis of the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs). The 5 questions being:

  • Is it Safe?
  • Is it Effective?
  • Is it Caring?
  • Is it Responsive?
  • Is it Well-Led?

I think it still remains to be seen whether what is good enough for Andrea’s Mum would necessarily good enough for anyone else's Mum or Dad!

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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