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15th March 2018

Pathway to CQC Registration – Part 2 A Brief Guide from Submission to first glance by a Registration Inspector


In part one of my Registration blog we looked at ‘Pathway to CQC Registration – Part 1 a brief guide from before the application to submission’

Parting with your hopes and dreams

So your application is in…that moment when you can do nothing as you have hit the button and unlike the 10 hours you have spent putting the application together, and the spade work before that, it has gone in Nano seconds.

You may feel that your hopes and dreams have been sent away and that is the end of it…but the process is one of parts, parts that can help you if you have made a slight omission or error.

Applications and how they are dealt with

It is important to note that all CQC staff will speak to the Manager about their application, and the nominated individual/provider about their application as although they need to work together for registration, they are separate applications.


The National Customer Service Centre

CQC have a Customer Service Centre – and you should very much feel you can use it. I have visited the centre in the past, and have found staff helpful.

One of the centre’s functions is to check certain information on submitted registration application forms that the Online System may not be able to detect.  This is called ‘validation’ which takes up to 5 days.

Rejection not Refusal..There is a Difference!

If NCSC find something in your application or an associated application that is missing or is superficially not correct, they will reject your application. NCSC will let you know why your application has been rejected, and you can reopen a submitted application to rectify your administrative errors and then submit it as a new application. This isn’t held against you, but stops problems further down the line for the inspector and for you.

Top tips

  1. Only reopen a submitted application if CQC ask you to. If you do and they haven’t – the changes will not be submitted
  2. Always call NCSC if you have any problems – emails can take up to 10 days to receive a response so get on the phone!
  3. NCSC will send you an email either way once validation is complete

That’s right…No Assessment Yet…

Noticed anything?  We haven’t got to the ‘assessment’ of your application.  The things that have taken place to this point are administrative checks.  So what happens next?

NEXT STOP REGISTRATION INSPECTOR: Initial Look at the Application

Your application has reached a queue system and is allocated out to a Registration Inspector from a registration manager. At this point the inspector will;

  • Look over your application
  • Ask you by email for information to aid their initial assessment – it may be to elaborate on something in the application, or for the provider to provide further policy documentation such as insurances
  • Organise a date for a site visit (come to the service to look at the building and documentation)
  • or a Fit person interview for the manager– they may call you up, but should email you also confirming dates and times
  • They may wish to also speak with Directors and the nominated individual where they are in place.
  • Interviews usually take place at a CQC office or sometimes at the site visit.

Top Tip

  • Don’t assume a phone call is a bad thing. There are lots of different services registration inspectors to deal with, and they want to ensure they understand yours.
  • If they ask for more information, and you can readily supply it, it does not count against you.

Time for a comfort break

I’m going to stop the bus here. Because there is only so much we can both take! It’s been a journey already – and we can explore more in my next expert insight.



*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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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