Learn, Do Not Copy!

Grading system and implications

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft‘ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

As we discussed in the previous section regarding the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs), the inspection process results in a service being graded with one of the following ratings:


An outstanding rating means that the service is performing exceptionally well.


A good rating means that the service is performing well.

Requires improvement

A requires improvement rating the service is not performing well. CQC will provide guidance on how it can improve and achieve a better rating.


An inadequate rating means that the service is performing poorly and will be put into special measures. It is likely that CQC will take enforcement action against the organisation and may close the service.

All regulated organisations must publicly display their CQC rating on their websites and in the place where they deliver services as stated in Regulation 20A of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.