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Key areas of enquiry for 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.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have five Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) when inspecting regulated services. They are:

  • Is it Safe?
    Are individuals protected from avoidable harm and abuse?
  • Is it Effective?
    Do individuals receive care, treatment and support that achieves good outcomes, promotes a good quality of life and is based on the best available evidence?
  • Is it Caring?
    Are individuals treated with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect?
  • Is it Responsive?
    Does the service meet the needs of individuals?
  • Is it Well-led?
    Does the leadership, management and governance of the organisation assure the delivery of high-quality, person-centred care, support learning and innovation and promote an open and fair culture?

Full guidance for the inspection criteria and the prompts that inspectors should use is provided on the CQC website. This document also explains how KLOEs relate to ratings. For example, under the ‘Safe‘ KLOE, services are rated as follows:

  • Outstanding – People are protected by a strong comprehensive safety system and a focus on openness, transparency and learning when things go wrong.
  • Good – People are protected from avoidable harm and abuse. Legal requirements are met.
  • Requires improvement – There is an increased risk that people are harmed or there is a limited assurance about safety. Regulations may or may not be met.
  • Inadequate – People are not safe or at high risk of avoidable harm or abuse. Normally, some regulations are not met.

Inspectors will grade all KLOEs and related prompts as either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate and use this information to inform their decision for a service’s overall rating.

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