CQC registration for home care providers

As you prepare to launch and manage a new home care agency, one of the most important jobs is getting your CQC registration.

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Getting your CQC registration as a new home care business

CQC registration is a mandatory legal requirement, but it also sets out a clear process to make sure you are fully prepared to deliver an excellent service. The application process takes some time, so plan ahead to make sure it’s complete before you start to provide care. Keep reading to discover the CQC application process, legal requirements and expectations.

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Legal requirements of CQC registration

  • The Care Quality Commission was introduced in 2009 to regulate health and social care providers to ensure high standards of care.

  • Its regulations are based on the Health and Social Care Act 2008, which sets out the fundamental care delivery requirements.

  • Any health or social care provider in England must register with the CQC by law. Your registration must be complete before you can start to provide care legally, so leave plenty of time to apply. If you begin to care for clients before you’re fully registered, you’ll be breaking the law.

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How long does CQC registration take?

  • As a guide, preparing for your application involves setting up processes and systems, employing staff, and carrying out DBS checks, which can take several weeks.

  • Once preparations are done, and you’re ready to apply, the application itself can take from 2 to 8 hours to complete.

  • The way you need to register depends on whether you are taking over an existing home care agency and keeping the current managers in post or starting a new home care agency with new managers. Make sure you choose the correct route for your home care agency to speed up the application process.

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Understand the CQC regulations

Familiarise yourself with the fundamental standards and the Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) set out by the CQC. These frameworks cover every aspect of what good care looks like and how you can provide evidence of this in your home care agency.

Show your competence as a manager

You must be able to show that all registered managers are competent and qualified for the role. The CQC will ask to see written proof of qualifications and further training, including safeguarding, mental capacity, consent, and medication management. Additional supporting evidence could include references from past employers and documented relevant experience. Managers will also need a DBS check countersigned by the CQC, which can take up to 8 weeks to obtain.

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Understand the relevant legislation

You must be able to show good understanding and experience of the relevant laws around delivering care. These are the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

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Show that you have suitable premises

Even though you’ll deliver domiciliary care in people’s homes, you still need to show the CQC that your office base is suitable for managing the service. The space must meet health and safety requirements to keep staff safe, and you need to be able to store records securely to maintain client confidentiality.

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Prove that your service is financially viable

The CQC needs to know that you have the funds to provide ongoing care for your clients. Prove financial viability with a statement letter from an accountant, bank, or service listed with the Financial Conduct Authority. Read more about the information to include in your statement letter here.

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Write your statement of purpose

Your statement of purpose must include the details of your business, aims and objectives, details of registered managers, and where you intend to provide care. It’s important to get your statement of purpose right - incomplete information will hold up your application.

Getting CQC registered: a checklist

Before you apply, make sure you've done the following:

  • Show how you can meet the KLOEs and fundamental standards

  • Make sure your premises are fit for purpose. They must meet health and safety regulations and have secure storage for client records.

  • Gather evidence to demonstrate the competency of your registered manager.

  • Get a statement letter from an accountant or bank to prove your financial viability.

  • Read through the Health and Social Care Act and the Mental Capacity Act and show how you meet requirements.

  • Write your statement of purpose.

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What else can I do to help my CQC application?

The CQC values the use of technology to help your service deliver high standards of care. We designed our Birdie tools to help home care agencies comply with regulations to support the CQC registration process. Once you’ve registered, Birdie care management software can help you work more efficiently and can save you time and money (up to £12,000 per year!).  

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