Opening a care organisation – Currently there are over 39,000 providers of residential or other care services across England, with 25,000 of these regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Rising care needs across the UK has led to an increase of new providers opening each week, including large numbers of domiciliary care agencies.

Opening a care organisation

The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulatory body for healthcare, adult social care and the operation of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England. CQC make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care and they encourage care services to improve. CQC monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and they publish their inspection reports. CQC entered a consultation review with stakeholders on their new proposed approach to regulation and inspection. They are also currently piloting the inspection of sample GP practices under this new inspection regime.

Those setting up a new care organisation must contact the CQC to confirm if the service will be required to be registered. If so, these providers must ensure that all staff members are effectively inducted and the Registered Manager is suitably qualified.

Whether or not a CQC registration is required, the organisation has a legal obligation to provide the best quality care; by finding and keeping staff, inducting them effectively and developing them further with qualifications and related funding opportunities.

As well as allowing yourself time to organise supporting paperwork and other parts of your application, there are some other things you need to consider.

Before opening a care organisation you’ll need to know or decide:

  • What sort of legal entity you are – you can register as an individual, a partnership or an organisation
  • Which regulated activities you want to provide
  • Which ‘locations’ you will need to register (not all premises you own will necessarily qualify as one)
  • Who your registered managers will be

Along with your application, you must:

  • Provide details of each location from where you will provide residential care services
  • List the regulated activities you intend to carry out
  • Meet essential standards of quality and safety
  • Make a declaration of compliance

If you carry out a regulated activity without being registered, you will be committing an offence, and you could be fined and/or imprisoned.

Common Induction Standards
The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Essential Standards of Quality and Safety highlight the importance and value of strong and comprehensive induction. The CQC will need to be assured that all staff have undergone thorough training and development.

Skills for Care’s Common Induction Standards (CIS) are the standards people working in adult social care need to meet before they can safely work unsupervised.

The Skills for Care’s Common Induction Standards CIS are for people new to social care and those changing roles or employers. They are designed to be met within 12 weeks to enable care workers to demonstrate their understanding of how to provide high quality care and support.

The CIS include standards that are specific to adult social care and ones that are generic to the working environment. They need to be delivered in a context relevant to the service and job role.

The Standards
Each standard contains a number of areas of knowledge that care workers need to know before they can work unsupervised. Managers have a duty to ensure that their new staff know enough to meet the required outcomes in each knowledge area.

Standard 1 – Role of the health and social care worker
Standard 2 – Personal development
Standard 3 – Communicate effectively
Standard 4 – Equality and Inclusion
Standard 5 – Principles for implementing duty of care
Standard 6 – Principles of safeguarding in health and social care
Standard 7 – Person-centred support
Standard 8 – Health and safety in an adult social care setting

The eight standards map across to the mandatory units of the health and social care diploma to ensure there is consistency of approach for the workforce. If carried out in depth, they can provide evidence of underpinning knowledge towards the diploma at level 2 or level 3.

Not all workers however will need to complete the full induction standards – for example if they have already completed an induction or have a relevant vocational qualification.