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For adult social care providers

  • Organisations we regulate

This section is for providers and managers of adult social care services. It's where you'll find guidance on our new approach to regulating services, including information about registration and fees.

Our new approach

We began using our new approach to inspect and regulate adult social care services on 1 October 2014. We explain our approach in our provider handbooks and appendices for community and residential adult social care and hospice services.

Download our provider handbooks for adult social care services




Handbooks for all sectors

About our new approach

Under our new approach:

  • We will put people who use services at the centre of our work – we will listen, involve and respond to people's experiences of care.
  • Inspections will be unannounced and teams will be tailored to the service they are inspecting – this will include an inspector and expert by experience, and may include a specialist adviser. The size of the team will depend on the size and complexity of the service being inspected.
  • We will use Intelligent Monitoring to decide when, where and what to inspect, the methods for listening better to people's experiences of care and using the best information across the system.
  • Inspectors will use professional judgement, supported by objective measures and evidence, to assess services against our five key questions:
    • Are they safe?
    • Are they effective?
    • Are they caring?
    • Are they responsive to people's needs?
    • Are they well-led?
  • We will rate services – these ratings will help people to compare services and to highlight where care is outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.
  • Our inspectors will use a standard set of key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) that directly relate to the five key questions – are they safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? This will ensure consistency and focus on those areas that matter most.

How to get involved

We have developed our new approach by working with providers, people who use services and other key partners.

We'll continue to work with providers and other stakeholders to make sure that the development of our approach reflects their views.

Join our online community

Our online community allows providers to give feedback on our ideas and draft documents.

Case studies

Encouraging improvement

In January 2015, we awarded the first outstanding ratings in adult social care. Read about them here:

More about our work

Read about our Chief Inspector and find out about our work in adult social care.

CQC Provider Portal

Most registered providers can now use our Provider Portal to keep their registration up to date and to send us notifications. It's the fastest, easiest way to send us application forms and notify us about changes, events and incidents.

Not yet registered?

There are two different guides for registering with us as a new service provider. Which one you should use depends on whether your registered managers are applying for new registrations, or whether they intend to continue in their current role, managing the same type of service and the same regulated activities at the same location(s).

1. If you are applying to register with us and all of the registered managers who are part of your application are applying for new registrations, please use the following guide:

New provider application with new registered managers

2. If you are registering with us and taking over locations from an existing registered provider, and any of the registered managers wish to continue their registration managing the same type of service and the same regulated activities at the same location(s), you should use the following guide:

New provider application with continuing registered managers

If you are unsure which category you fall into, please contact our National Customer Service Centre on 03000 61 61 61 or email

Last updated:
27 April 2017