CQC KLOEs: explained


Your CQC inspection is your opportunity to show your commitment to providing the very best home care service for your clients.

This page outlines the criteria you'll be rated against when it comes to the KLOEs (Key Lines of Enquiry) and what they'll be looking for in a Good or Outstanding provider.

Find out how to reach outstanding by clicking the button in each section.

Birdie Medication manager showing medication schedule and partially taken medication

CQC KLOEs

The CQC uses five KLOEs (Key Lines of Enquiry) to assess whether your service delivers caring, effective, responsive, well-led, and safe care.

Birdie Medication manager showing medication schedule and partially taken medication

Understanding the CQC KLOES

CQC Safe KLOE

The KLOEs you'll be judged on are:

"How do systems, processes and practices safeguard people from abuse?"

"How are risks to people assessed and their safety monitored and managed so they are supported to stay safe and their freedom is respected?"

"How does the service make sure that there are sufficient numbers of suitable staff to support people to stay safe and meet their needs?"

"How does the provider ensure the proper and safe use of medicines?"

"How well are people protected by the prevention and control of infection?"

"Are lessons learned and improvements made when things go wrong?"

"Find out how to respond to each criteria with our guide, below."

Learn how to reach outstanding in the CQC Safe KLOE


Barriers to achieving Outstanding in CQC Safe KLOE

If you're making any of the mistakes listed below, you could find yourself missing out on a Good or Outstanding in the Safe KLOE.

  • Safeguarding is not prioritised as it should be, or the service places unnecessary restrictions on people in the name of safeguarding.

  • All staff members are not up to date with safeguarding training.

  • Safeguarding policies and procedures are not always put into practice.

  • Inadequate staffing levels make carers feel rushed and unable to deliver the best care.

  • The service doesn’t react quickly enough to safety concerns.

  • People are fearful of reporting incidents or concerns, and there is a culture of blame.

  • The service lacks clear procedures around administering medicines to clients with reduced capacity.

Understanding the CQC KLOES

CQC Caring KLOE

The KLOEs you'll be judged on are:

"How does the service ensure that people are treated with kindness, respect and compassion, and that they are given emotional support when needed?"

"How does the service support people to express their views and be actively involved in making decisions about their care, support and treatment as far as possible?"

"How are people’s privacy, dignity and independence respected and promoted?"


Learn how to reach outstanding in the CQC Caring KLOE


Barriers to achieving Outstanding in CQC Caring KLOE

If you're making any of the mistakes listed below, you could find yourself missing out on a Good or Outstanding in the Caring KLOE.

  • Clients or other parties voice concerns regarding the way staff treat others.

  • Staff do not offer details of relevant advocacy agencies or external bodies for support

  • Staff don’t know or have the time to find out about the preferences and histories of the people in their care.

  • Carers show a lack of respect or compassion.

  • Care visits are too short to build meaningful connections.

  • Carers show kindness and compassion, but this is not recognised or supported by the service.

Birdie Medication manager showing medication schedule and partially taken medication

Understanding the CQC KLOES

CQC Effective KLOE

The KLOEs you'll be judged on are:

“Are people’s needs and choices assessed and care, treatment and support delivered in line with current legislation, standards and evidence-based guidance to achieve effective outcomes?”

“How does the service make sure that staff have the skills, knowledge and experience to deliver effective care and support?”

“How are people supported enough to eat and drink enough to maintain a balanced diet?”

“How well do staff, teams and services within and across organisations work together to deliver effective care, support and treatment?”

“How are people supported to live healthier lives, have access to healthcare services and receive ongoing healthcare support?”

“How are people’s individual needs met by the adaptation, design and decoration of premises?”

“Is consent to care and treatment always sought in line with legislation and guidance?”

Learn how to reach outstanding in the CQC Effective KLOE


Barriers to achieving Outstanding in CQC Effective KLOE

If you're making any of the mistakes listed below, you could find yourself missing out on a Good or Outstanding in the Effective KLOE.

  • A lack of consistency in care delivery.

  • Clients’ mealtimes are rushed or food is served too hot or too cold.

    Staff are not clear on legislation around caring for people who lack capacity to make decisions.

  • Care does not always reflect current evidence-based guidance.

  • Cultural or dietary preferences are not considered when providing food and drinks.

  • Clients are not consulted about their care, or consent is not clearly obtained.

  • Staff are not supported with ongoing training to maintain professional skills.

  • The service doesn’t monitor the hydration or nutrition of clients or fails to refer to dietary or nutritional specialists when necessary.

Understanding the CQC KLOES

CQC Responsive KLOE

The KLOEs you'll be judged on are:

“How do people receive personalised care that is responsive to their needs?”

“How are people’s concerns and complaints listened and responded to and used to improve the quality of care?”

 “How are people supported at the end of their life to have a comfortable, dignified and pain-free death?”

Learn how to reach outstanding in the CQC Responsive KLOE


Barriers to achieving Outstanding in CQC Responsive KLOE

If you're making any of the mistakes listed below, you could find yourself missing out on a Good or Outstanding in the Responsive KLOE.

  • A lack of training around diversity needs, human rights, and communication needs for clients with a disability.

  • Staff do not work closely enough with healthcare professionals to deliver gold standard end of life care.

  • Clients are not consulted, or have a say in their own care plan.

  • The service doesn’t invite feedback and clients or staff are worried about raising concerns.

  • The service is not planned or delivered to fully meet the needs of clients.

  • Care is delivered in tasks and does not consider the wider needs of the client.

  • Where concerns are raised, the whistleblower suffers recriminations, and concerns are not acted upon.

Birdie Medication manager showing medication schedule and partially taken medication

Understanding the CQC KLOES

CQC Well-Led KLOE

The KLOEs you'll be judged on are:

“Is there a clear vision and credible strategy to deliver high-quality care and support, and promote a positive culture that is person-centred, open, inclusive and empowering, which achieves good outcomes for people?”

“Does the governance framework ensure that responsibilities are clear and that quality performance, risks and regulatory requirements are understood and managed?”

“How are the people who use the service, the public and staff engaged and involved?”

“How does the service continuously learn, improve, innovate and ensure sustainability?”

“How does the service work in partnership with other agencies?”

Learn how to reach outstanding in the CQC Well-Led KLOE


Barriers to achieving Outstanding in CQC Well-Led KLOE

If you're making any of the mistakes listed below, you could find yourself missing out on a Good or Outstanding in the Caring KLOE.

  • Managers are out of touch with what’s happening in the service.

  • The leadership team does not support its staff or recognise the equality and diversity needs of employees.

  • Leadership is inconsistent, over-bearing, ineffective, or there is evidence of bullying.

  • Whistleblowers are unsupported or suffer recriminations.

  • There is a lack of reflective practice, learning, and improvement.

  • Incidents are covered up, or the reporting of incidents is discouraged.

  • Safeguarding concerns are not dealt with appropriately.

hand drawn illustration of a retro dial telephone

Want to improve your CQC rating?

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