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How to prepare for your CQC inspection


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

As discussed in the previous section, having a culture of inspection readiness within your organisation can support your preparations.


You should also perform regular internal audits to assess the quality that your service provides. By doing this, you can identify areas that require improvement as well as gather evidence about the areas in which your organisation performs well. Examples of good practices (e.g. where your service has improved service user outcomes) can be presented to inspectors during the initial interview.

You should familiarise yourself with the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Key Lines of Enquiry and the associated prompts so that you can ensure that your service is operating at the required level. This document is particularly useful for understanding what you need to do to raise your rating from a ‘good‘ to an ‘outstanding‘. In all areas of operation, you should assess:

  • Is the service safe?
  • Is the service effective?
  • Is the service caring?
  • Is the service responsive?
  • Is the service well-led?

You should ensure that all records that may be requested by inspectors are easily accessible and you should inform staff and service users about the upcoming inspection. You may also wish to provide staff with training about the inspection process so that they know what to expect if they are called upon to provide evidence.

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