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For GP practices and out-of-hours service providers

  • Organisations we regulate

This section is for GP surgeries and GP out-of-hours services. You'll find guidance on our new approach to regulating services, including our provider handbook, and information about registration.

Our new approach

See our introduction to guidance for GP practices.

We began using our new approach to inspect and regulate GP and GP out-of-hours services, explained in our provider handbook and appendices, on 1 October 2014.

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.
  • Inspection teams will be tailored to the service it is inspecting – it will be led by an inspector with a GP on every inspection, and may include a practice manager or practice nurse and an Expert by Experience.
  • 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.

What to expect from an inspection

Our new approach is designed to improve the quality of care people receive. We have developed a series of tools we hope you find helpful in preparing for your CQC inspection.

What to expect when we inspect: for GP practices PDF | 61.74 KB

What to expect when we inspect: for independent doctors PDF | 407.32 KB

Encouraging improvement

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:
20 June 2016