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What are the 5 CQC standards?

09 November 2020


  • CQC

Last edited: 07 January 2022

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They monitor, inspect and regulate services in the health and social care industry. By doing this, they release ratings which help the public choose which organisation they would like to use. These ratings are as follows: outstanding, good, requires improvement, and inadequate.

Five key lines of enquiry are followed during CQC inspections (the 5 CQC standards) to ensure high quality care, giving service users a good quality of life. Below we explain these key questions, followed by a list of follow-up queries. Please note that these aren’t exhaustive.


Are they safe?

Safe means that you are protected from abuse and avoidable harm:

  • How can you safeguard people from abuse?
  • How are risks and safety monitored to ensure people’s freedom is respected?
  • How do you ensure the proper and safe use of medicines?
  • How well is everyone protected by the prevention and control of infection?
  • Are lessons learned and improvements made when something goes wrong?


Are they effective?

Effective means your care, treatment and support achieves good outcomes, helps you to maintain quality of life and is based on the best available evidence:

  • Is care delivered in line with legislation and evidence-based guidance?
  • How do you ensure staff have the knowledge to deliver effective care?
  • How well does your organisation as a whole work together to deliver effective care?

Are they caring?

Caring means staff involve and treat you with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect:

  • How do you ensure people are treated kindly and provided with emotional support?
  • How do you support people to be actively involved in making decisions about their care?


Are they responsive to people’s needs?

Responsive means services are organised so that they meet your needs:

  • How are concerns and complaints handled to improve the quality of care?

Our expert team can help you be responsive:

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Are they well-led?

Well-led means that the leadership, management, and governance of the organisation make sure it’s providing high quality care that’s based around your individual needs, that it encourages learning and innovation, and that it promotes an open and fair culture:

  • Is a positive culture promoted?
  • Are responsibilities clear and quality performance, risks and regulatory requirements managed?
  • How are people engaged and involved with the service?
  • How does your organisation continuously learn, improve and innovate?


How can Radar Healthcare help you improve your CQC rating?

At Radar Healthcare, we understand that a visit from the CQC can be daunting. That’s why our software is both focused on the service users to help deliver safe, effective and person-centred care, and built around software users to ensure it’s simple to implement and apply in your organisation.

We’ll provide you with a KLOE audit to practice and ensure you’re ready for your next inspection. When this inspection does come, pull reports from Radar Healthcare with a click of a button. You can also use the events module to create an event when you have an upcoming inspection – assign actions to relevant staff members and ensure they are completed on time, giving you the assurance you need that you’re inspection ready.

You may have heard that CQC inspections are changing, with digital playing a large role. Whether you’re using paper-based techniques, or spreadsheets, now is the time to move away from these manual methods and get ahead of the game with Radar Healthcare.

See how we can help you improve your CQC rating:

Book a consultation


Want to find out more about the CQC?

What is the CQC? All about the Care Quality Commission

What does the CQC do?

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