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The Care Quality Commission checks whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards. Visit our website at

Information for our staff

We supply our inspectors and assessors with a great deal of information in order to help them make their decisions. We have made much of this information available to you below so that you can understand what they will be looking at during a review of compliance or visit.

Observation tools

When we visit services as part of a review of compliance, we focus on people's direct experiences of care.

We have developed tools to help our inspectors observe the care that people receive. You may find it helpful to refer to these tools in assessing how you are meeting the essential standards.

Download our Observation tools.

Supporting notes

Supporting notes are written for our assessors and inspectors to help them make consistent judgements on compliance with the essential standards of quality and safety.

These documents only act to clarify key aspects of some of the essential standards; they do not introduce additional requirements. Providers may also find the information useful.

Download our Supporting notes.

Equality and human rights

We have produced guidance on the equality and human rights aspects of the essential standards of quality and safety.

The guidance was produced jointly with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Download our Equality and human rights guidance.