All care services which engage in regulated activity in England must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). There are corresponding regulators in other UK countries. To achieve registration they must show that they comply with the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009 and the current Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

In their applications prospective providers need to show that their services will satisfactorily answer the five key questions used by CQC in their inspections.

  • Is it safe?

  • Is it effective?

  • Is it caring?

  • Is it responsive?

  • Is it well-led?

They must also provide the CQC with supporting documents in order for their application to proceed. The list of supporting documents varies slightly according to the service being registered. Domiciliary care service registrations undergo a two-stage validation procedure in which the CQC checks the information to ensure it is complete and accurate before allowing the application to proceed.

The CQC will then check that the applicant is meeting and will continue to meet all registration requirements as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. The 2014 regulations include a set of Fundamental Standards, which providers must always achieve, a Duty of Candour and Fit and Proper Persons requirements for directors of registered providers.

This topic discusses the key issues involved in the CQC’s current provider registration process. There is a separate topic covering the registration of providers and managers — see Registered Provider and Registered Manager.

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