Care providers prepare for CQC’s Single Assessment Framework

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is set to roll out its new Single Assessment Framework before the end of the year.

The new CQC Single Assessment Framework aims to create a simpler approach to monitoring and inspection of care servicesEngland’s care watchdog first published the new framework for providers and stakeholders to review in July 2022, saying they would be introducing it in phases. It is to be rolled out for adult social care providers in November.

Currently, the CQC operates four different assessment frameworks, and there is much duplication across these.

Developed following months of consultation with providers, stakeholders and those using services, the new Single Assessment Framework will be used to judge quality on all types of services, including independent care providers, local authorities and integrated care systems.

Single Assessment Framework to ‘make things simpler’

The CQC will include evidence from people receiving services as part of its new single assessment frameworkAlthough the CQC will retain its current quality ratings and five ‘key questions’, the new framework replaces the existing key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) and prompts with 34 new ‘quality statements.’ Known as ‘we statements’, these are written from a provider’s perspective and will allow the regulator to focus on specific topic areas under each of their key questions, while also linking directly to relevant regulations.

It is hoped this new approach to assessment will make it easier for care providers to understand what is expected of them.

The CQC has overhauled their assessment system and introduced the new Single Assessment Framework for three key reasons:

  1. To make things simpler so they can focus on what really matters to people
  2. To better reflect how care is actually delivered by different types of services as well as across a local area
  3. To create one framework that connects CQC registration activity to its assessments of quality

In order to make their quality judgments more structured and consistent, the CQC has also defined six categories for the evidence it will collect. These are:

  1. People’s experiences
  2. Feedback from staff and leaders
  3. Observations of care
  4. Feedback from partners
  5. Processes
  6. Outcomes of care

The categories of evidence used will vary for each quality statement and will also change depending on the type of service and the level at which the CQC is assessing.

The watchdog says that the new Single Assessment Framework “emphasises the need to create cultures that learn and improve, and we set expectations for how services and providers need to work together, and within systems, to plan and deliver safe, person-centred care.”

Preparing providers for the Single Assessment Framework

Skills for Care wants to support care providers to prepare for the new single assessment frameworkSkills for Care has developed a range of resources to help care providers prepare for the CQC’s new approach to monitoring and inspection.

The adult social care workforce development charity provides recommendations, examples and resources covering the 34 new quality statements from the framework within their Good and Outstanding inspection toolkit, which is available online.

The toolkit has been developed in partnership with organisations such as the SCIE and NICE.

Skills for Care says:

“Whilst every CQC inspection is different, you can be prepared by understanding the criteria they will use to rate your service.

“Understanding what Good and Outstanding care looks like can not only help you achieve success in your inspections but ensure you are continuously providing high quality care.”

Helping providers deliver outstanding care

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider.

They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safetyfirst aidfire safetyfood safetymental healthhealth and social care and other special focus topics.

Their diverse portfolio includes training awards designed for care workers, such as Infection Control and Prevention, Safeguarding Adults, Duty of Care, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Person Centred Care and Support and many others.

Their course portfolio spans Care Certificate standardsmandatory training awards, clinical skillsspecial focus courses and training for supervisors and managers.

A Trainer at FRT, says:

“We work with hundreds of care providers across the country and know that they are committed to providing the best possible care for the people they support.

“It is great that the new Single Assessment Framework has been developed to make things clear and simple for providers so that they can focus in on exactly what is needed to provide high quality, safe and compassionate care to all those who need it.”

For more information on the training provided by FRT, please call them on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to