Observing care and the care environment will remain an important way to assess quality.

Most observation will be carried out on the premises by CQC inspectors and Specialist Professional Advisors (SpAs).

External bodies may also carry out observations of care and provide evidence, for example, Local Healthwatch. Where the evidence from organisations such as Healthwatch is specifically about observation of the care environment, we will include it in this category, and not in the people’s experiences category.

We will not use the observation category for local authority assessments. It does not apply to a local authority context.

All observation is carried out on site.