When we will inspect primary care dental services

Page last updated: 1 December 2022
Organisations we regulate

Our inspection activity will focus on where there is risk. Read the updates on our regulatory approach and how we will assess providers for more information.

Announcing inspections

Inspections are usually announced. We feel that this is the most appropriate way to make sure our inspections do not disrupt the care you provide.

When we announce inspections, we will usually give two weeks’ notice to individual dental practices. The inspector will telephone your practice to announce the inspection and also send a letter to confirm the date.

Throughout the inspection process, the lead inspector and inspection planner will support and communicate with you by letter, email and telephone to help you to prepare for the day and know what to expect.

Unannounced inspections

We may also carry out an unannounced inspection, for example, if we have concerns about a practice or if we are responding to a particular issue or concern. This may be something identified at a previous inspection that we are following up, or new information.

At the start of these visits, the inspection team will meet with your practice’s senior partner or senior manager on duty at the time and, as with announced inspections, will feed back to you at the end of the inspection if there are any immediate concerns.

When we are following up concerns from a previous inspection, we will usually carry out an unannounced focused inspection.

The inspection team

Each inspection team is led by a CQC inspector with support from a Specialist Advisor. The Specialist Advisor who supports the inspector will have knowledge and experience of delivering dental care. As far as possible, we would also want to match the specific skills of the Specialist Advisor to the particular circumstances of your practice, for example, provision of orthodontic or sedation services.

Teams will vary in size and composition depending on the services being inspected.