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CQC’s New Assessment Framework 2022: Are you inspection-ready?

16 September 2022


  • CQC

As always, the world of health and social care is evolving to keep up with the ever-growing developments in the industry.

As previously stated in their last update, the CQC (Care Quality Commission) announced that they are making changes to their framework – and they’re starting now!

The CQC intends to transition to a new Single Assessment Framework to regulate the quality of health and social care across the country and support its “reducing health inequalities and driving improvements” strategy.

The framework is set to have a phased approach, enabling organisations to learn and adapt gradually over the remaining months of 2022, with the New Year marking the start of the full roll-out of the new regulating process.

What is the need for this change?

While the way ratings are achieved and how they work alongside organisations will alter, the CQC’s primary purpose and the role will not change. The pandemic highlighted that some practices are no longer relevant or appropriate and that there was a need for change.

The CQC aims to change how they regulate to drive the improvement of care and services for everyone and be more person-centered. They want to be able to manage and respond to risk and uncertainty more maturely and reactively. They want to approach regulation based on real-life needs and experiences and be more flexible.

The CQC has stated three main reasons why they have decided to implement a change:

  • To make things simpler so they can focus on becoming more people-focused.
  • To better reflect how care is delivered by different types of services across the local area.
  • To use one framework that connects registration activity to assessments.


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What does the new inspection framework look like?

Single assessment framework

Earlier in the year, the CQC announced that they will be using new Quality Statements under the Single Assessment Framework, which will be used to collect evidence when assessing organisations.

As it stands, there are multiple assessment frameworks that will be consolidated into a single assessment framework that covers all sectors, services, and levels, making the framework more accessible and flexible for everyone.

Key Questions, Quality Statements, and Evidence Categories

Quality Statements will be used to replace the current Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs). However, the five Key Questions will revolve around the current standards (Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive, and Well-led) .

“Quality Statements are the commitments that providers, commissioners, and system leaders should live up to. Expressed as ‘we statements’, they show what is needed to deliver high-quality, person-centered care.”

The Quality Statements will give examples of high-quality and person-centered care under each Question. It is also important to note that each statement links directly to the relevant Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

For instance, ‘Effective’ includes the following topic areas:

  • Assessing needs
  • Delivering evidence-based care and treatments
  • How staff, teams, and services work together
  • Supporting people to live healthier
  • Monitoring and improving lives outcomes
  • Consent to care and treatment

Under each of these topics are a set of Quality Statements. Each of the five questions follows the same structure. For instance, ‘Assessing needs’ includes the statement ‘we maximise the effectiveness of people’s care and treatment by assessing and reviewing their health, care, wellbeing, and communication needs with them’.

Under the Quality Statements, the CQC will also use the following six evidence categories:

  • People’s experiences.
  • Feedback from staff and leaders.
  • Observations of care.
  • Feedback from partners.
  • Processes.
  • Outcomes of care.

Ongoing assessments and more frequent monitoring

The CQC plans to allow regulators to have more options and opportunities to collect information to assess and award services. Instead of scheduling inspections at one given time, they are trying to offer multiple touchpoints of inspection and categories (as stated above), for a better understanding of how a service delivers care and a fairer rating.


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Are you inspection-ready?

The CQC has developed their new assessment framework to ensure organisations ‘work together, and within systems, to plan and deliver safe, person-centered care’.

Come April 2023, the new framework will be in practice. Organisations now need to reevaluate their methods and educate themselves with the new assessment structure, to ensure that they are compliant with the new regulations.

Our recent Inspection Ready Whenever They Are study revealed that 46.3% of healthcare professionals are unconfident that their audits are up-to-date, 41.5% do not have a centralised incident log, and 51.2% do not have an action plan linking to relevant events and audits.

Luckily, Radar Healthcare’s quality and risk management software has been designed to help care services maintain the best level of care and safety possible by encouraging continuous improvement and collaboration. Our wide range of modules helps healthcare services feel better prepared for inspections, potentially achieving a higher rating.

Get in touch to understand how our software helps many of our partners improve their CQC ratings.

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