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30th October 2019

What do I need to prove to be outstanding?


What do I need to prove to be outstanding?

It can feel kind of tough to work out what CQC are looking for in their regulated providers: undoing the myth


I like watching those art programs..

I like watching those art programs.  You know, the ones where they spend the hour of a programme trying to find out if someone’s picture is going to make them a millionaire or be an embarrassing waste of the £2000 they spent in the first place.


Boom or bust?

You see the selected institute gather up all of the evidence and scrutinise it. After a long pause and panning to the sweating presenters and owner of the painting…the expert from the institute insists it isn’t real.

Like me you may sit at home like one of the people from goggle box shouting ‘what!!!! much evidence do they need? For goodness sake!’ .


Proving your worth to CQC

That might be the words you utter when you are trying to show the hard work you and your staff have put into your service since the last inspection. The people who use the service have nothing but praise, you ooze a person centred approach, and you respond to every complaint and double what is expected. So what an earth are they thinking?


The bar is high

Let’s not kid ourselves.  The bar is high.  It is high because improvement is what a regulator should be pushing for.  If it were that easy, the bar would need to be raised. Only 3% of Adult social care locations in 2017/18 were rated as Outstanding.


Some things to go on

The ratings characteristics will give you clues as to what is expected.  The information is very much in the public domain and Adult social care can be found here, Healthcare providers here. Or search up a provider that is outstanding with a similar provider model.


Building up

Inspectors will go into a service and look to see if it is ‘good’.  It is important that you build on this foundation looking at what good looks like.  Simply looking at outstanding undermines the foundation of good which could land you at requires improvement.


Does every area need to be Outstanding?

No.  But don’t take the risk!  Your aim is to be outstanding across the board. At least two of the five key questions would normally need to be rated as outstanding and three key questions rated as good before an aggregated rating of outstanding can be awarded here.


Be a game changer

This is only a guide. Of course there are many things you could be doing that no one has thought of. You have the right to disagree with CQC and show them where they have not valued areas of your work –you need to be in a strong position across the board to be confident to do this. You have the right to challenge CQC through a request to review ratings.


Dark Art

I still don’t think those Art experts get it right every time. They are only human after all!

*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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