Ask the Care Specialists

Welcome to our 'Ask the Care Specialists', your one-stop portal for social care-related questions. Our team of specialists will try to answer as many of your Social Care questions as possible.

What are the regulatory requirements for supported living providers?

What are the regulatory requirements for supported living providers?

Let’s start with what the CQC says.

‘By supported living we mean schemes that provide personal care to people as part of the support that they need to live in their own homes. The personal care is provided under separate contractual arrangements to those for the person’s housing. The accommodation is often shared, but can be single household. Supported living providers that do not provide the regulated activity ‘personal care’ are not required by law to register with CQC.’


If you are looking for best practice, there is no harm in measuring yourself against the regulations as far as they relate to you, and using the 5 Key Questions as a framework.


You need to be very clear about your admission criteria and service user group and you also may need to consider if you are supporting people with Learning Disabilites and Autism then aligning your process with CQC guidance –

  • Housing with Care
  • Registering the Right Support
  • Right Support, Right Care, Right Culture


During the pandemic CQC developed an interim set of questions which are also helpful here.


You should also look at the REACH Standards and The Real Tenancy Test.


In 2020 the Government set out A national Statement of Expectations for supported housing and articulated what good should look like.


It would also be worth contacting the Local Authority or looking at their website for information regarding supported living services they may commission and their expectations. This is an area that would be required by CQC to ensure your service plans are supported by the commissioning teams and significant market research. As you state supporting people without “personal care” there is a fine line here that is very easy to cross that could lead to difficulties for you so you need to ensure that your planning fully covers changes in needs of tenants.


What happens if needs change? Can service users commission care via a domiciliary care agency? How does this affect the tenancy and commissioned support you intend to provide? Consider co-production in your Business Plan to cover issues such as these.


The provider will need to be very clear to avoid issues further down the line especially around admission such as compatibility and appropriate culture. Supporting people with acquired brain injury ABI, mental health, community treatment order, Autism and learning disabilities too wide a catchment could lead to compatibility issues whilst too narrow could result in low occupancy. Is the property suitable for the service user groups and any associated needs?


In relation to COVID-19 government guidance can be found here which can also be helpful outside of personal care.

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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Have you got a social care question that you just can't find the answer to? Our team of sector specialists are here to provide you with easy-to-understand top tips on a wide range of topics, from dementia, mental health to employment law or every day operational queries to help you deliver outstanding care.

Our specialists will try to answer as many of your questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends. To learn more about the team visit:

Please note that our specialists cannot offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC. If your query relates to someone who is at risk of harm or in danger you must follow your local safeguarding procedures.

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