List of CQC Regulations

List of CQC Regulations and What They Mean

CQC Guides, Health and Social Care Blog

Care Learning

11 mins READ

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent body that checks health and social care services to make sure they meet basic standards of quality and safety.

These CQC regulations help ensure that care providers deliver safe, effective, and high-quality services with compassion. In this blog post, we will cover the full list of CQC regulations and what they mean to care providers.

Here is a full list of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014:

Regulation 4: Requirements where the service provider is an individual or partnership

Regulation 4 applies to service providers operating as individuals or partnerships. They must provide care that meets quality and safety standards. This means ensuring:

  • The service is run by skilled, competent, and experienced staff.
  • Staff follow professional standards and regulatory requirements.

Key points of this regulation include:

  • A clear governance structure where everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.
  • Keeping detailed, accurate records of treatments and services.
  • Regularly checking the quality and effectiveness of the services provided.

These measures are crucial for maintaining high standards in healthcare delivery.

Regulation 5: Fit and proper persons: directors

Regulation 5 ensures that directors of care services are suitable for their roles. It requires that:

  • Care providers must not appoint or keep any directors involved in serious misconduct or mismanagement, whether related to the care sector or not.

To adhere to this regulation, providers need to:

  • Conduct thorough background checks on potential directors.
  • Include DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service).
  • Verify qualifications.
  • Review past employment history.
  • Assess character, conduct, and competence.

These steps are vital to prevent individuals who may endanger safety and well-being from holding critical positions.

Regulation 6: Requirement where the service provider is a body other than a partnership

Regulation 6 applies to service providers that are legal entities, not partnerships. It requires these organisations to:

  • Have a well-structured governance framework.
  • Ensure clear leadership, defined roles, and clear accountability.

These elements support the delivery of safe and high-quality care services. Additionally, these entities must:

  • Monitor and continually improve care quality.
  • Implement strong internal auditing processes.
  • Use feedback from service users.
  • Conduct regular strategic reviews to stay aligned with best practices and innovations in care.

This systematic approach helps maintain high standards in the provision of care services.

Regulation 7: Requirements relating to registered managers

Regulation 7 requires all care providers to have a registered manager for activities regulated by the CQC. This manager must be:

  • Appropriately qualified.
  • Competent and experienced in managing the specific services provided.

They should also demonstrate leadership qualities that promote a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment within the care setting.

Registered managers play a crucial role in:

  • Supervising daily service operations.
  • Managing staff and resources effectively.
  • Ensuring compliance with CQC regulations.
  • Continuously improving service quality and safety.

Their responsibilities include maintaining regulatory compliance across all aspects of care, such as patient rights, consent to treatment, and safeguarding measures.

Regulation 8: General

Regulation 8 sets broad expectations to ensure the welfare and safety of service users. It requires that all services, whether they are nursing homes, general practitioners, or dental services, must be provided in a way that is:

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Compassionate
  • High-quality

Additionally, these services must meet the needs of the people they serve. Key aspects covered by this regulation include:

  • Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in care environments.
  • Protecting from abuse.
  • Ensuring equipment is properly maintained.
  • Providing clear and actionable emergency procedures.

This regulation is fundamental in making sure that operational aspects of service provision support positive and safe care outcomes.

Regulation 9: Person-centred Care

Regulation 9 requires that care services be customised to meet the individual needs and preferences of each service user. This approach ensures that care is:

  • Personalised for each individual.
  • Respectful of their dignity.
  • Supportive of their independence.
  • Attentive to their specific wishes and requirements.

Providers must:

  • Develop detailed care plans tailored to the individual.
  • Regularly review these plans.
  • Include the service user’s choices about dietary preferences, cultural needs, family involvement, and end-of-life care plans.

This regulation emphasises delivering personalised care that respects and responds to the unique needs of each person.

Regulation 9A: Visiting and accompanying in care homes, hospitals and hospices

Regulation 9A was introduced to improve the quality of life for individuals in care settings by making specific provisions for visitors. It ensures that:

  • Residents in care homes.
  • Patients in hospitals.
  • Clients in hospices.

Can be visited and accompanied by persons they choose. This regulation emphasises the importance of supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of individuals through maintained relationships with loved ones.

Care providers must:

  • Facilitate these visits effectively.
  • Balance safety needs, especially during infectious disease outbreaks.
  • Respect any special requirements for visitors, including those related to children, or providing critical or end-of-life support.

This approach helps ensure that individuals remain connected with their loved ones while receiving care.

Regulation 10: Dignity and Respect

Regulation 10 is dedicated to ensuring that service users are treated with dignity and respect. This standard is vital for making sure all interactions with healthcare professionals adhere to principles that prioritise individual human rights. It includes:

  • Respecting privacy.
  • Ensuring confidentiality.
  • Engaging in a manner that recognises the value of each individual.

Providers must create an environment where service users:

  • Feel listened to, valued, and respected.
  • Receive accommodations necessary for disabilities, age, or cultural needs.

This applies not only to direct interactions but also how personal care tasks are handled, considering privacy and personal preferences.

Regulation 11: Need for Consent

Regulation 11 emphasises the critical importance of obtaining consent from individuals before administering any care or treatment. This regulation ensures that:

  • Service users are fully informed about their care options.
  • They can make decisions regarding their treatments based on this information.

Providers must:

  • Obtain consent in a way that the individual understands.
  • Consider factors like language barriers, mental capacity, and physical condition.

If a service user lacks the capacity to give consent, providers must follow legal frameworks, such as the Mental Capacity Act to ensure decisions made are in the best interests of the individual. This process respects each person’s rights and supports ethical medical practices.

Regulation 12: Safe Care and Treatment

Regulation 12 requires that all care and treatment provided must be safe, actively reducing any risks to the health, safety, and welfare of service users. Providers must:

  • Assess risks to the health and safety of service users.
  • Implement measures to mitigate these risks.

This includes:

  • Ensuring equipment is suitable and well-maintained.
  • Managing medicines safely.
  • Protecting users from unsafe care.

Additionally, providers are required to have emergency plans in place. These plans should include clear procedures that all staff understand, ensuring safety across various situations. This regulation is essential for maintaining a secure environment for both service users and healthcare professionals.

Regulation 13: Safeguarding service users from abuse and improper treatment

Regulation 13 is essential for protecting service users from abuse, harm, and improper treatment. This protection covers:

  • Physical, sexual, mental or psychological, financial abuse.
  • Neglect and degrading treatment.

Providers must adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards abuse by:

  • Providing proper training for staff to recognise and respond to all forms of abuse.

Additionally, they must implement robust procedures to:

  • Report and respond to any allegations of abuse.
  • Ensure all allegations are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

These measures are crucial for safeguarding service users effectively and preventing future incidents.

Regulation 14: Meeting Nutritional and Hydration Needs

Regulation 14 focuses on ensuring that service users receive adequate nutrition and hydration to maintain good health and well-being. This is crucial in care settings where individuals might not be able to effectively communicate their needs or have complex health conditions affecting their dietary requirements.

Providers must:

  • Assess the nutritional and hydration needs of each individual.
  • Provide meals and fluids that meet these needs, taking into account personal preferences, religious or cultural backgrounds, and dietary restrictions.

Additionally, they need to:

  • Offer support to those who require assistance with eating and drinking.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of nutritional care plans.

This regulation ensures that all service users have access to the necessary nutrition and hydration for their health.

Regulation 15: Premises and Equipment

Regulation 15 ensures that the premises and equipment used in care delivery are safe, suitable, and well-maintained. This standard is crucial for preventing avoidable harm and reducing health risks to service users. Providers must:

  • Ensure that the design and layout of the premises cater to the needs of service users, promoting effective care delivery while maintaining their dignity.
  • Guarantee that all equipment is fit for its intended purpose, with regular inspections and maintenance checks to ensure safety and effectiveness.

This regulation covers:

  • The suitability of physical environments such as treatment rooms and public areas.
  • Cleanliness and infection control practices, which are particularly vital during events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

By adhering to these standards, care providers help safeguard the health and well-being of service users through a secure and conducive environment.

Regulation 16: Receiving and Acting on Complaints

Regulation 16 highlights the importance of an effective and transparent approach to managing complaints within health and social care settings. Providers must:

  • Have a system in place to receive, handle, and respond to complaints from service users or their representatives.
  • Ensure the complaint process is user-friendly, accessible, and offers multiple channels for submitting complaints.

Providers are required to:

  • Investigate each complaint thoroughly and impartially.
  • Provide timely and constructive feedback to the complainant.

Furthermore, insights gained from these complaints should be used to improve services. This demonstrates the provider’s commitment to continually enhancing care based on user feedback.

Regulation 17: Good Governance

Regulation 17 is crucial for ensuring that providers maintain an effective governance framework to support the delivery of high-quality care. This includes:

  • Systems to assess, monitor, and improve the quality and safety of services.
  • Conducting financial audits and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Good governance also involves:

  • Proper management of records.
  • Maintaining accurate, up-to-date, secure, and accessible records in line with data protection regulations.
  • Evaluating and mitigating risks to service delivery.

This regulation ensures that organisations are not only aware of their responsibilities but are also equipped to perform them effectively.

Regulation 18: Staffing

Regulation 18 focuses on the adequacy and suitability of staffing, which are essential for delivering effective care. Providers must ensure:

  • Appropriate staffing levels and skill mixes at all times to meet the needs of service users.
  • Staff are suitably qualified, competent, and receive ongoing training to maintain current and relevant skills.

Additionally, Regulation 18 highlights the importance of staff welfare by ensuring:

  • Support for staff to perform their duties effectively.
  • Opportunities for professional development.

This regulation addresses both quantitative aspects (such as staff numbers and ratios) and qualitative aspects (including management, support, and development), ensuring comprehensive care delivery through well-supported staff.

Regulation 19: Fit and Proper Persons Employed

Regulation 19 mandates that care providers employ only individuals who are fit and proper for their roles. This includes ensuring that staff:

  • Are appropriately qualified and competent.
  • Can provide safe and effective care and treatment.
  • Possess the necessary character and health status to safeguard the welfare of service users.

To comply with this regulation, providers must:

  • Conduct thorough background checks.
  • Perform DBS checks.
  • Verify references and work histories before employing staff.

This process is crucial in preventing individuals with a history of misconduct or inadequate care from working in the care sector. Ultimately, it’s about protecting service users by ensuring they receive care from capable, ethical individuals.

Regulation 20: Duty of Candour

The Duty of Candour, as described in Regulation 20, is a legal obligation for care providers to act openly and transparently regarding care and treatment. Specifically, this means that when something goes wrong:

  • Providers must inform the service user (or their advocate or family).
  • They should provide an honest account of what happened.
  • They must explain the consequences of the incident.
  • An apology should be offered.
  • Discussion about measures taken to prevent future occurrences is required.

This regulation plays a crucial role in maintaining trust between service users and providers. It ensures honesty about mistakes and commits providers to learning from these errors, thereby enhancing care quality and fostering a culture of safety and respect within care settings.

Regulation 20A: Requirement as to Display of Performance Assessments

Regulation 20A mandates that care providers prominently display their performance assessments where service users and visitors can easily see them. This includes displaying the most recent CQC rating, which ranges from “Outstanding” to “Inadequate”. Additionally, if providers have a website, they must also publish this information online.

The purpose of this regulation is to enhance transparency by:

  • Allowing current and prospective service users and their families to make informed decisions about their care.
  • Encouraging providers to either maintain or elevate standards of quality and care.

This visibility ensures that these ratings are accessible publicly, influencing public perception and trust in the provider’s commitment to high-quality care.


Here is a full list of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009:

Regulation 12: Statement of Purpose

Regulation 12 requires every service provider to have a clearly defined statement of purpose. This important document outlines:

  • The fundamental aims and objectives of the provider.
  • The types of services offered.
  • The needs the provider aims to meet.

Additionally, the statement should include:

  • Information about where the services are provided.
  • Details about the provider, including their legal status and contact information.

The aim of this regulation is to ensure transparency by providing service users, their families, and regulators with a clear understanding of what the provider intends to achieve and how they plan to do it. It also acts as a foundational reference for assessing service delivery standards during inspections or audits.

Regulation 13: Financial Position

Regulation 13 requires that a provider must be financially stable to carry out the services it is registered for. This regulation highlights the importance of sound financial management by necessitating that providers have sufficient resources to ensure continuous and effective operation of their services.

Providers are obligated to:

  • Demonstrate their ability to operate on a solid financial basis.
  • Notify the Care Quality Commission (CQC) if any circumstances arise that might threaten their economic stability.

The purpose behind this regulation is to minimise disruptions in service due to financial instability, thereby safeguarding the continuity of care for service users.

Regulation 14: Notice of Absence

Regulation 14 mandates that registered persons (individuals registered with the CQC as managers or service providers) must notify the CQC if they plan to be absent from their role for a significant period. Additionally, this regulation requires that:

  • A proposed cover for the period of absence is declared.
  • The substitute must be fit and competent to handle the responsibilities of the absent registered individual.

This requirement ensures continuity in leadership and oversight, preventing any negative impact on the quality and safety of care provided. It also maintains accountability by ensuring that any temporary changes in leadership are documented and approved according to CQC standards.

Regulation 15: Notice of Changes

Regulation 15 mandates that providers must inform the CQC about any updates to details they had previously provided. This includes changes in ownership or partnership, management shifts, and modifications in facilities or services impacting care delivery. Renovations or expansions changing the premises’ layout or capacity also need reporting.

The aim of this regulation is to keep the CQC updated on any changes that could affect a provider’s compliance with standards or registration conditions. Regular updates help preserve the effectiveness of the regulatory framework and ensure that care remains safe, effective, and suitable for service users.

Regulation 16: Notification of death of service user

Under Regulation 16, care providers must immediately inform the CQC when a service user dies. They need to provide specific details about the death. This rule helps oversee and review deaths to spot any patterns or unusual circumstances that might indicate broader issues needing investigation for better safety and care.

Providers should report if the death was violent, unnatural, involved self-harm, or happened under unusual conditions. Quick reporting is essential not just for record-keeping but also to check for any lapses in care or areas that could be improved.

Regulation 17: Notification of death or unauthorised absence of a service user who is detained or liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983

Regulation 17 is essential for managing the care of individuals detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. It requires providers to report any deaths, as stated in Regulation 16, and any unauthorised absences from the facility.

This notification allows for immediate action to protect both the individual and others by considering their health needs and potential risks linked to their absence. The regulation emphasises strict supervision in caring for individuals whose freedom has been legally restricted. It highlights care providers’ legal duties towards both the individual and public safety.

Regulation 18: Notification of Other Incidents

Regulation 18 mandates that service providers must inform the Care Quality Commission (CQC) about incidents affecting user safety, security, or well-being. This includes serious injuries, abuse allegations, emergencies requiring intervention, and any situation hindering safe service delivery.

The purpose is to keep the CQC informed so they can investigate if needed, monitor trends, and enhance standards in the sector. Proper reporting allows the CQC to advise providers on how to prevent such incidents in the future and maintain high care quality.

Regulation 19: Fees

Regulation 19 requires service providers to pay fees for CQC registration and ongoing compliance activities. These fees help cover the costs of running the CQC, such as inspections and monitoring services to maintain health and social care standards.

The amount charged varies based on the service’s type, size, and scope. This ensures that the CQC has enough funds to carry out its regulatory duties effectively, supporting the ongoing enhancement and safety of care services.

Regulation 20: Requirements relating to termination of pregnancies

Regulation 20 sets clear rules for when and how pregnancies can be terminated. It ensures these procedures are done safely, respectfully, and legally. Providers must follow strict medical guidelines and offer proper counselling and aftercare.

This rule is crucial for protecting the health and rights of women who seek to end a pregnancy. It guarantees they get quality care. The CQC monitors these services closely to ensure they are carried out ethically and responsibly.

Regulation 22A: Form of notifications to the Commission

Regulation 22A specifies how notifications must be sent to the CQC. It ensures that all communications are uniform, thorough, and detailed enough for proper processing. This standardisation helps the CQC handle information from providers more efficiently.

This regulation is key in keeping communication between care providers and the CQC clear, organised, and effective. It’s essential for quick and suitable reactions to any incidents or changes in care settings.

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