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10th June 2016

Preparing for a CQC Inspection

My title is a little misleading. It suggests a period of time when you prepare for an inspection, but to make it work for you, there must be a consistency of approach that is at the heart of your service.

I trust you have had a good week. The heat brings its own problems as well as benefits, and I hope all is well for you and the people you support.

Eyes on the job

I need glasses. I have always needed them. I have led a small rebellion against this, and have rarely worn in 10 years. Michael McIntyre’s stand up on guessing the letters at the opticians rather than admitting you need glasses made me chuckle...and I booked an appointment to get some help (a rather nice couple of pairs of glasses) and see things clearly hurrah!

The KLOES were put together listening to stakeholders to put into focus what the 5 questions mean in reality. It doesn’t define you. You and your staff are that unique element, but it can act as an aid to see things in a sharper light, not just for inspectors.

  • Tip 1: If you have not been inspected, make sure registration points have been dealt with. You will not be registered unless you are compliant, but at the point of inspection CQC will expect you to be ‘good’ for Adult Social Care as outlined in A fresh Start for Registration.
  • Tip 2: Read the relevant Inspection Handbook. This is helpful in understanding what you can expect from the process.
  • Tip 3: Look out a report on a provider with a similar service. Get a feel for areas picked up. There are a number of mandatory KLOES that inspectors will look at on a comprehensive inspection. Highlighted in yellow in the KLOES appendices of each handbook.

Doing the do

  • Tip 4: Take a step back and view the service through an inspectors eyes. Like the eye test, don’t be satisfied by seeing a dim nod to good or outstanding with what you find. If it isn’t in clear focus, put it on your list to look at. By identifying it and putting a plan in place, you are demonstrating responsiveness and openness.


CQC state in their community Adult Social Care Handbook ‘… If we have requested a PIR but do not receive the information we will not normally award better than ‘requires improvement’ for the well-led question. This is because a good provider should have the information readily available through their own internal monitoring and quality assurance information.’

As I have mentioned in past blogs, organising the information and monitoring to the 5 questions and KLOES will help spot gaps and get you ready for inspection.

  • Last Tip: Check your QCS package to see how your policies are aligned to the KLOES and remember to view any updates on your dashboard to stay current.

I have just realised I have written half of this without my glasses …oh dear!

*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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