When we will inspect independent healthcare services

Page last updated: 12 May 2022
Organisations we regulate

If you are registering with CQC as a new provider, we will normally aim to inspect within 12 months of registration.

For services that are rated, the first inspection will be a comprehensive inspection and you will receive your initial rating.

Notice periods

To enable us to observe normal practice in a service, we will not announce the day on which we intend to inspect.

For practical reasons, we may need to give a short notice period of an inspection to some providers. This will usually be 48 hours’ notice.

CQC’s lead inspector may decide to carry out a short notice inspection for any of the following reasons:

  • where an unannounced inspection is likely to have a detrimental impact on the people who use the service and the quality of care of care they could receive
  • where the availability of the service is variable and it opens on different days or times of the week
  • where the service is dispersed and delivered across a large geographical area

Our inspection teams will continue to ensure that in all instances the impact on the staff delivering the service, as well as the people using them, is kept to a minimum.