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21st June 2013

Fit Person Interview – Registered Manager

I must admit it’s been a while since I was interviewed back when I applied to become a Registered Manager. I recall my appointment for the interview was a nervous 34 mile drive in early morning rush hour traffic, and my usual calm self deteriorated into a nervous mess once I finally arrived. However, thanks to the calm and experienced Assessor at the CQC, my interview seemed more of a conversation than the grilling I was expecting. Afterwards, I wondered what all the fuss was about!

Three weeks ago, my colleague- whom I have had the pleasure of mentoring for twelve months- advised me that she had been given an appointment for her fit person’s interview. Her blanched face and shaking hands told me all I needed to know... The fear of failing a Fit Persons interview was all consuming.

The build up to the interview one week later was stressful and my reassurances did not seem to have any effect.

To help her prepare we familiarised ourselves with the CQC Essential Standards of quality and safety and the Guidance on Compliance. We looked at the relevant legislation: the Health and Social care Act 2008 (updated 2012) (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, and the CQC (Registration) Regulations 2009 (all can be found using this link: Organisations We Regulate).

We discussed possible questions, such as ‘How do you ensure staff are suitably trained?’ ‘What are your main responsibilities as Registered Manager?’ And scenarios- ‘What would you do if a whistleblower reported the Care Manager for bad practice?’

Above all, I told her to be herself and be honest if she didn’t know the answer to a question, or to ask for clarification on a question if she didn’t quite understand the jist of it. My advice was not to try and bluff her way through the question as the Assessor will spot it right away.

On the day of the interview, I was just as nervous standing next to her when the Assessor arrived and felt like a negligent mother leaving her by herself.  She had a copy of her interview form ready and a file of all her certificates prepared, as well as her copy of the CQC Essential Standards to hand.

The Assessor came prepared with an interview sheet, but reassured my colleague that this wasn’t a job interview. He explained his role was to establish if my colleague was able to carry out the responsibilities of a Registered Manager in a safe and responsible way. He explained that the questions he asked were designed to help him assess her ability to manage a registerable service.

The Assessor began by asking my colleague to give a brief overview of the service (how many service users/how many care staff) and what changes she had made in the past eight months since she was awarded the Managers post.

The Assessor asked if she had cause to raise any Safeguarding concerns and if so, what was the process she had followed and notifications to CQC were discussed at this point. He asked about how she promoted equality and dignity issues with our workforce. He asked how she could be sure she was providing a quality service to her service users and what audit checks were completed. The Assessor ended the interview by asking my colleague what were her future plans for the service and how she would implement them.

The interview itself lasted 30 minutes and the Assessor explained that she would be notified by email of the decision, which can take up to 10 days.

The good news was- my colleague passed and was certified as the Registered Manager. On reflection, she now wonders ‘What was all the fuss about?’!

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Rosie Robinson

Domiciliary Care Specialist

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