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What is registration?

  • Organisations we regulate

Any person (individual, partnership or organisation) who provides regulated activity in England must be registered with us otherwise they commit an offence.

Below we have answered the most common questions about registration and explained some of the key terms we use both on the registration form and in our guidance documents.

To be registered, an application must be made to us, providing details about the applicant, the regulated activities applied for, and the places at which, or from which, it will be provided (we call these ‘locations’).

We assess the applicant and, to grant registration, must be satisfied about their fitness and compliance with the requirements of the relevant regulations and enactments. Otherwise we must refuse their application.

The term ‘fitness’, the regulated activities and the wider registration requirements are set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the ‘Act’) and its associated regulations.

When we register a person, we do so with conditions (about, for example, the locations at which regulated activity may be provided). If, subsequently, the provider wishes to vary or remove any of these conditions, to apply for another regulated activity or to cancel their registration, they must make a further application to us.

Some providers must have a registered manager as a condition of their registration. Appointed managers must also apply and satisfy us about their fitness and meet with the other requirements of the relevant regulations and enactments.

Through this system of registration, we ensure that only those people who are judged to be fit and are likely to provide and manage good quality care that meets the needs of people, are authorised to do so.

Who needs to register?

You must register with us if you carry on one of the 15 activities we regulate (see below for a definition of these 'regulated activities'). From 1 April 2015, there will be 14 of these activities.

You can find definitions of each of these activities and more information to help you decide if you are required to register in our scope document.

The scope of registration (March 2015) PDF | 2.06 MB

What is a provider?

One of the words you will read a lot in our information about registration is 'provider'. We use this to mean the legal entity responsible for carrying on the regulated activity.

Types of providers

A provider can be one of three types of legal entity:

  • individual
  • partnership
  • organisation.

When you apply for registration, it is important to understand which type of legal entity you are ensure the application is made by the correct legal entity (i.e. the legal entity that will be carrying on the regulated activity).


You should register as an individual if you will be carrying on the regulated activity yourself (sometimes referred to as a ‘sole trader’). Individuals register in their own name and are directly responsible for carrying on regulated activities.


A partnership exists where two or more individuals carry on a regulated activity together. If you carry on any regulated activities as a partnership, it is the partnership (including all the partners) that must register. The partnership as a whole, as well as each individual partner, is responsible for ensuring that the regulated activities provided meet the requirements of the relevant regulations and enactments

To be registered, a partnership cannot include other partnerships of organisations (i.e. it must be a partnership of individuals) and all of the partners must have agreed and have joint and several liabilities. Other arrangements in which one individual provider shares expenses only with another individual provider should not register as a partnership.

In this case, if each person is carrying on regulated activities as an individual without shared liability, they will need to register separately.

A limited liability partnership (LLP) should register as an organisation, because the legislation explicitly excludes an LLP from being a partnership.


You should register as an organisation if you are a:

  • local authority
  • NHS trust
  • registered company or charity
  • limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • other corporate body.

In this case, it will be the organisation itself that registers, not the people who control it (although, from April 1 2015, organisations will be subject to a fit and proper person requirement in relation to their directors and those in equivalent positions).

What is a regulated activity?

When you are applying for registration with us, you will need to determine which health and adult social care services we regulate you carry on. These are known as 'regulated activities'.

When you are applying for registration with us, you will need to determine the regulated activities you will carry on.

It is your responsibility to ensure you register for each regulated activity that you carry on. It is common to register for more than one.

In all, there are 15 regulated activities (14 from 1 April 2015). For a more detailed explanation of who is covered by the registration system and a description of each regulated activity, you should refer to the Scope of Registration document.

The scope of registration (March 2015) PDF | 2.06 MB

Quick reference guide to regulated activities by type of service

Our ‘quick reference guide’ helps providers to understand how regulated activities and services types are likely to apply to particular types of service and provider.

This will help you to find out which regulated activities you are most likely to carry on.

It should be used in conjunction with our scope of registration document, which will allow you to evaluate in more detail if any of these regulated activities apply to you.

Quick reference guide to regulated activities by type of service PDF | 155.32 KB

What is a location?

A location is a place in which, or from which, regulated activities are provided or managed. Once you are registered you may only provide and manage services at or from the locations specified in the conditions of your registration.

As a general guide, in our definition of a location, we count each place where people may be admitted (for example, as an inpatient or as a resident) or treated (for example, a walk-in centre or a primary dental practice) as a location if the regulated activities provided in these places are managed independently.

Where regulated activities are provided and managed as one service but are carried out in a number of different premises, however, the place from which the regulated activities are 'carried on' or managed is counted as the only location.

For other services, such as mobile or visiting services, we need the location as either:

  • the head offce
  • a regional office or area base from which day-to-day management of the regulated activities is directed.

If you provide regulated activities in or from more than one location, you will need to include details of all of these in your registration application. This includes which activities are provided at or from each location.

It is important to be clear about your locations because in your registration application, you will need to make a declaration about your compliance with the fundamental standards for each regulated activity at each location.

Once you are registered, as far as possible, we will aim to monitor your compliance with the fundamental standards at each location.

What is a location? PDF | 583.15 KB

What is a registered manager?

A registered manager is the person appointed by the provider to manage the regulated activity on their behalf, where the provider is not going to be in day-to-day charge of the regulated activities themselves. In most cases, a provider will need to have one or more registered managers.

As a registered person, the registered manager has legal responsibilities in relation to that position. A registered manager shares the legal responsibility for meeting the requirements of the relevant regulations and enactments with the provider.

The regulations require us to impose a registered manager condition on the following types of providers requiring them to have one or more registered managers for the regulated activities they carry on:

  • a partnership
  • an organisation
  • an individual who is not personally in day-to-day charge of carrying on the regulated activities or is not fit to do so.

The person who you appoint as registered manager should be in day-to-day charge of carrying on the regulated activity or activities they apply to be registered for.

Although the regulations do not prevent a person from being registered to manage several regulated activities, or from managing regulated activity at more than one location, the manager must be able to satisfy us that they have the capacity and capability to do so, as well as the necessary skills qualifications, competence and experience. The purpose of the registered manager requirement, is to regulate the person managing the regulated activity on a day to day basis at the location where the regulated activity is provided, rather than a more senior manager who is not in day to day charge at the location.

You can appoint more than one person to manage a regulated activity at the same location (for example, where there is a job share arrangement).

What is a nominated individual?

If you are applying for registration as an organisation, the regulations require you to nominate an individual to act as the main point of contact with us.

The nominated individual must be employed as a director, manager or secretary of the organisation (i.e. they should be a senior person, with authority to speak on behalf of the organisation). They must also be in a position which carries responsibility for supervising the management of the carrying on of the regulated activity (i.e. they must be in a position to speak, authoritatively, on behalf of the organisation, about the way that the regulated activity is provided).

It is up to you who to nominate, as long as they meet these criteria.

You can nominate the same person for all or some of the regulated activities you provide. Or if you wish you can have a different individual for each regulated activity. But you can only nominate one person for each of the regulated activities you provide. The application form will ask you for the details of your nominated individual/s and the regulated activities for which you are nominating them.

In very small organisations, it may be necessary to for the same person to be both the registered manager and the nominated individual, but this should be avoided where possible. Where there are concerns about the way a regulated activity is being managed, there will be times when we need to speak to a more senior person within the organisation. This is more difficult where the registered manager and the person nominated by the organisation to represent them are one and the same.

If you register as an individual or partnership you do not need a nominated individual.

What is a statement of purpose?

A statement of purpose for a business describes what you do, where you do it and who you do it for.

You have to include a statement of purpose as part of your application and it must include:

  • your aims and objectives
  • the services you provide
  • the different needs of people who use your service
  • your contact details
  • your service's legal entity
  • the places where services are provided

Download detailed guidance and templates to help you draft your statement of purpose.

Last updated:
11 August 2015