May 26, 2023

How to create a skills matrix aligned to the CQC standards

Table of contents

Developing a skills matrix that aligns with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards is vital for ensuring compliance and delivering high-quality care. In this article, we will guide you through the process of matching carer skills to the CQC standards, explore the most common skills required by the CQC for carers in England, provide insights on how to prove to the CQC that your carers are properly trained, and present an example of a carer skills matrix that aligns with the CQC standards.

Let’s unlock the key steps to building an effective skills matrix that upholds CQC standards and enhances the quality of care provided…

What are the Care Quality Commission standards?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England. The CQC sets and monitors standards of care to ensure that service providers deliver safe, effective, compassionate, and high-quality care to individuals. The CQC has a comprehensive set of standards that service providers must meet. 

  1. Safety: Ensuring that services are safe for individuals by identifying and mitigating risks, maintaining appropriate staffing levels, and implementing robust infection control measures.
  2. Effectiveness: Ensuring that care and treatment provided to individuals achieve positive outcomes, are evidence-based, and meet their specific needs and preferences.
  3. Caring: Promoting compassionate and person-centered care that respects individuals' dignity, privacy, and independence, and involves them in decision-making about their care.
  4. Responsiveness: Ensuring that services are responsive to individuals' needs, preferences, and complaints, and that they are able to access timely and appropriate care.
  5. Well-led: Assessing the leadership, governance, and management of service providers to ensure effective oversight, clear responsibilities, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

These are general categories, and within each area, there are specific requirements and criteria that service providers must meet to comply with CQC standards.

How to match carer skills to the Care Quality Commission standards

Creating a skills matrix aligned to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards involves several steps. 

Here is a general outline of the process:

1. Identify the relevant CQC standards: The CQC sets out various standards that must be met by healthcare providers in the UK. Review the CQC website to identify the relevant standards for your organisation.

2. Determine the skills required for each standard: Once you have identified the relevant standards, determine the specific skills required to meet each standard. For example, if one of the standards relates to infection control, the skills required might include hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, and waste management.

3. Identify the roles and responsibilities within your organisation: Determine the roles and responsibilities within your organisation that are relevant to each CQC standard. For example, a nurse might be responsible for infection control in a hospital.

4. Create a matrix: Create a matrix that lists each CQC standard and the skills required for each standard. Then, list the roles and responsibilities within your organisation that are responsible for each skill.

5. Assess current skills: Once you have created the matrix, assess the current skills of your staff to determine any gaps in knowledge or experience. This can be done through performance appraisals, staff surveys, or other means.

6. Develop training plans: Based on the skills assessment, develop training plans for staff to address any gaps in knowledge or experience. Training plans might include classroom training, on-the-job training, or other forms of learning.

7. Monitor progress: Monitor the progress of staff in developing the required skills and review the skills matrix regularly to ensure that it remains up-to-date.

By following these steps, you can create a skills matrix aligned to the CQC standards that will help ensure your staff have the knowledge and skills required to deliver high-quality care!

The most common skills required by the CQC for carers in England

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England sets standards for care providers, which encompass a range of skills that carers should possess. While the specific skills required can vary depending on the type of care being provided, there are common skills emphasized by the CQC.

Effective communication is crucial for carers to understand and meet the needs of individuals under their care. This entails both verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, and the ability to convey empathy and sensitivity.

Carers should be skilled in delivering person-centered care, tailoring their approach to the individual's preferences, values, and unique needs. This involves promoting autonomy, involving individuals in decision-making, and respecting their dignity and privacy.

Knowledge of safeguarding procedures and practices is essential. Carers need to recognize signs of abuse or neglect, understand reporting mechanisms, and prioritize the safety and well-being of those in their care.

A good understanding of health and safety regulations is important. This includes infection control measures, risk assessment, safe handling of equipment, and maintaining a secure environment for both individuals and carers.

Accurate documentation and record-keeping are necessary skills for carers to effectively track care activities, observations, and any changes in individuals' conditions. This ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Depending on their role, carers may need medication management skills. This entails understanding medication protocols, safely administering medications, and monitoring individuals for any adverse reactions or errors.

Teamwork and collaboration are vital as carers often work alongside other healthcare professionals. Effective communication and cooperation are required to share information, participate in care planning, and provide a coordinated approach to care delivery.

Demonstrating empathy and compassion in their interactions is essential for carers. This fosters trust, establishes a positive care relationship, and offers emotional support to individuals and their families.

It is important to note that the specific skills required by the CQC can vary based on the care setting and that the CQC may update their standards periodically. Therefore, referring to the latest guidance and documentation from the CQC is recommended for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the required skills.

How to prove to the CQC that you trained the carers

To demonstrate to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that you have properly trained the carers in your domiciliary care business, you can provide various types of evidence. Here are some examples:

  1. Training records: Maintain detailed records of all training activities conducted for each carer. This includes documenting the training modules completed, dates of training, and the names of trainers or training providers. These records should indicate the topics covered, training methods used, and any assessments or evaluations conducted.
  2. Certificates and qualifications: Keep copies of certificates or qualifications obtained by your carers through their training. This may include diplomas, certifications, or licences relevant to the care they provide. These documents serve as tangible proof of their completion of specific training programs.
  3. Training materials: Provide copies of the training materials used, such as handbooks, manuals, or online resources. This demonstrates the content and structure of the training provided to your carers.
  4. Training policies and procedures: Document your training policies and procedures, including how you identify training needs, deliver training, and assess the effectiveness of the training program. These policies show your commitment to providing systematic and comprehensive training to your carers.
  5. Supervision and assessment records: Maintain records of regular supervision sessions and assessments conducted with carers. These records should document the topics discussed, feedback given, and any action plans or improvements identified. They demonstrate the ongoing monitoring and support provided to carers to ensure their continuous development.
  6. Carer feedback and evaluations: Gather feedback from your carers regarding the training they receive. This can be in the form of surveys, questionnaires, or structured feedback sessions. Document their feedback and any actions taken to address their suggestions or concerns.
  7. Observation reports: Keep records of observations made during carers' practical sessions or on-the-job training. These reports can demonstrate the application of learned skills and competencies in real-life care situations.
  8. Quality assurance processes: Provide evidence of your quality assurance processes, such as internal audits or external accreditation related to training. This demonstrates that you have established mechanisms to ensure the effectiveness and compliance of your training programs.

During CQC inspections or assessments, you can present these pieces of evidence to showcase your commitment to training and development in your domiciliary care business. It demonstrates that you have implemented a structured and comprehensive training program that equips your carers with the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality care.

Example of a carer skills matrix aligned to CQC standards

Here is an example version of a skills matrix for a domiciliary care provider for older adults, aligned to the CQC standards and showing which role needs which specific skillset:

Here's an example of how the skills matrix can work:

Let's consider CQC Standard 1: Person-Centred Care. This standard emphasises the importance of providing care that is tailored to meet the individual needs and preferences of the older adults.

In the skills matrix:

  • The skill/competency "Effective Communication" is aligned with CQC Standard 1. This skill ensures that the carers can effectively communicate with the older adults, understand their needs, and involve them in their care planning and decision-making. The role responsible for this skill could be the Care Coordinator.
  • The skill/competency "Age-Related Conditions" is also aligned with CQC Standard 1. This skill enables the carers to have a good understanding of common age-related conditions, their impact on older adults, and appropriate care approaches. The role responsible for this skill could be the Care Assistant.
  • The skill/competency "Personal Care" is aligned with CQC Standard 1 as well. This skill involves providing assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting, while respecting the dignity and privacy of the older adults. The role responsible for this skill could be the Care Assistant.
  • The skill/competency "Mobility Assistance" is aligned with CQC Standard 1. This skill ensures that carers can safely assist older adults with their mobility needs, such as transferring from bed to chair, walking, or using mobility aids. The role responsible for this skill could be the Care Assistant.
  • The skill/competency "Nutrition and Hydration" is also aligned with CQC Standard 1. This skill involves understanding the nutritional needs of older adults, providing appropriate meals and fluids, and promoting healthy eating and hydration habits. The role responsible for this skill could be the Care Assistant.

So, in this example, the skills matrix helps identify the specific skills and competencies required to meet CQC Standard 1: Person-Centred Care. 

It also highlights the different roles within the domiciliary care provider organisation that are responsible for carrying out those skills and providing person-centred care to older adults. 

This matrix ensures that the organisation has the necessary skills and roles in place to deliver care that meets the CQC standards and promotes the well-being of the older adults!

How Birdie supports with CQC skills matching

Record Trainings and Skills

Birdie enables you to maintain a clear record of all training, certifications and skills for your care teams - and build it directly into your onboarding process.

Match by Skills

Our Skills Matching feature will support you to ensure only care professionals with appropriate skills are scheduled to visit schedules that require extra qualifications or competencies.

Training Expiry Report

We've built a report to help give you total visibility into all staff training and upcoming expiry dates via Birdie Analytics - and reduce the risk of being non-compliant.

View and match by skills within birdie

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