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

Step-by-step guide to applying as a new provider

If you need to apply for registration as a new provider of care, this page explains what you’ll need to do.

You may need to apply because you’re starting a new service that will be regulated by us (a care home, hospital, dental surgery, GP practice or home care agency, for example) or it may be because of a change in the legal entity running existing services.

If you are a new provider of NHS health care services, you can apply for registration and Monitor's provider licence at the same time. Find out more in Joint licensing and registration.

Before you start...

You should understand that you’ll need to do some preparation before you start to fill out the application.

This can take weeks as you’ll need to organise criminal record checks and references and ensure you’re ready to start providing services.

It takes time for a reason…

Being a provider of care is a serious business and our application process reflects this.

If we agree to register you, you’ll have responsibility for people’s health and wellbeing so it’s important we’re satisfied you’re suitably prepared and will be compliant with the relevant legislation.

We also have to establish that applicants will provide services that are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well led.

For us to be sure about this, we have to ask for a lot of information and we need time to consider and process that information.

The application process…

There will always be some preparation you’ll need to do before you can start your application.

This preparation includes applying for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, previously known as CRB checks.

You’ll need to apply for DBS checks through us and there is more information on how further down this page.

How long a DBS check takes depends on the exact nature of an individual check, but you should allow at least four to six weeks for each check.

There’s a checklist of what you’ll need to do below. It’s important that you allow yourself enough time to complete the forms and get the rest of the paperwork together.

Please wait until you have all the paperwork you need before you make your application.

All applications and supporting documents must be submitted at the same time for us to consider your application.

We often receive incomplete sets of forms – they always have to be returned to the sender, unprocessed. Don’t let your application become one of these.

How long will it take to apply?

Filling in the main form could, in some circumstances, take as much as seven or eight hours – a full working day. It’s likely to take at least two hours.

Additionally, as we say above, some of the preparation work may take several weeks. Here are some examples:

What do I need to do? How long will it take?
Write a statement of purpose Two to three hours, but possibly several days to prepare
Carry out DBS (formerly known as CRB) checks) In most cases, four to six weeks each
Make sure business premises are ready It will depend on the kind of premises you're looking for, but possibly several weeks

And there's more...

Complete guide

We've prepared a complete guide to the application process for people completing this type of application. You may want to read this before you start filling in your own application.

As well as allowing yourself time to organise supporting paperwork and other parts of your application, there are some other things you need to consider.

You’ll need to know or decide:

  • what sort of legal entity you are – you can register as an individual, a partnership or an organisation
  • which regulated activities you want to provide
  • which ‘locations’ you will need to register (not all premises you own will necessarily qualify as one)
  • who your registered managers will be

You’ll also have to be sure you’ve read and understood our essential standards.

If you're not sure about any of the above, you can find out more on our What is registration? page.

Our step-by-step guide...

To help you get your application right first time, here’s a breakdown of everything you’ll need to do to apply as a new provider.

Before you start to work through the checklist below, we suggest reading the complete guide to the application process in the box above and being very clear about the services you intend to provide as this could affect your DBS applications.

Step 1: Apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

Step 2: Write your statement of purpose

Step 3: Organise references

Step 4: Get your manager to complete their application

Step 5: Complete your application

Step 6: Review our checklist before submitting

Step 7: Submit your applications to us

More information: Fees and common errors

What happens next?