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When running or managing a care service and carrying on a regulated activity there are certain things you have to do by law. The law also makes certain requirements of CQC, and sets out the powers it has to regulate services.

All of this is contained in certain acts and regulations, which together are referred to as the relevant legislation. All of the relevant legislation is available on our website, and can be accessed through the links below.

The legislation here is continuously updated, which means that whenever an amendment is made, it will be reflected in this version.

The updated legislation is supplied to us by LexisNexis and is subject to a copyright agreement. This means you must agree to the terms and conditions before using the documents below.

The legislation should be used as guidance only, and is not legal advice. You should always seek legal advice about the current position before you take any action.

Read the Terms and conditions for using legislation on our website.

Health and Social Care Act 2008

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 established the Care Quality Commission as the regulator of all health and adult social care services.

It is a single Act of Parliament that contains the commission’s powers and duties, and represents the modernisation and integration of health and social care. It contains some new powers of enforcement that were not held by any of the predecessor organisations.

Health and Social Care Act 2008 PDF | 897.66 KB


Regulations are made under powers set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2008, and they provide more detail about the powers and duties the commission has, and about the duties that people providing and managing services have. The regulations made under the main Act change more frequently than the act itself.

It is important to be aware of all the up to date provisions.

Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009

These regulations came into force on 1 April 2010. They apply to all regulated activities, and make requirements about the way that people who wish to provide or manage a regulated activity in England can become registered.

Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009 PDF | 119.45 KB

Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010

These regulations, amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, have come into force at different times according to the type of service involved. They contain definitions of the services and activities that people must be registered to provide.

In some cases, they contain details about the stages at which different types of provider will be brought into the registration system. They also contain details of the standards that people registered to provide and manage services will have to observe.

Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 PDF | 218.29 KB

Guidance about compliance

By law, we are required to produce Guidance about compliance which translates the regulations into expected 'outcomes'. These describe quality and safety from the perspective of people who use services and places them at the centre of the registration system.

It is important that anyone registered to provide or manage a regulated activity is aware of the guidance we have produced. When considering whether a registered person has complied with their duties under Regulations, the Regulations themselves provide that they must have regard to this guidance.

Find out more about Guidance about compliance.

Terms and conditions for using legislation listed on our website

The legislation listed on our website is reproduced by permission of Reed Elsevier (UK) trading as LexisNexis.

We provide the legislation to users of this site subject to their copyright terms, and subject to its use only for research purposes.

Users are not permitted to download the legislation for storage or manipulation at any other location, or to use the legislation in any way that will distort or alter its original intention or meaning.

The legislation is provided for reference only, and is not intended as a substitute for the exercise of professional judgment or legal advice.

Last updated:
19 December 2014