CQC Launches Fundamental Standards

 In Improving Compliance, Regulations and Standards

On 1st April, the CQC introduced its new fundamental standards of quality and safety for all health and social care services. These replaced the 28 CQC Regulations and Outcomes.

The new regulations are designed to be clearer statements of the standards below which care should never fail.

What are the Fundamental CQC Standards?

The CQC fundamental standards are:

  • Person-centred care
  • Dignity and respect
  • Need for consent
  • Self-care and treatment
  • Safeguarding service users from abuse and improper treatment
  • Meeting nutritional and hydration needs
  • Cleanliness, safety, and suitability of premises and equipment
  • Receiving and acting upon complaints
  • Good governance
  • Staffing
  • Fit and proper persons employed
  • Duty of candour; and requirement to display CQC performance ratings

‘Outcomes’ have been exchanged for compliance guidance on the intentions and requirements for each fundamental standard. Notably, there is no longer a specific regulation for medicine management, although the fundamental standards cover all aspects of medication management.

What is the CQC’s new assessment framework?

The CQC assesses services using a framework based on five key questions:

  • Safe?
  • Effective?
  • Caring?
  • Responsive to people’s needs?
  • Well led?

Guidance about the way that services are regulated and inspected is given in Provider Handbooks:


What is Intelligent Monitoring?

The CQC continuously gathers and analyses information about services, through a process known as Intelligent Monitoring. This involves obtaining data from sources including patients, staff and self-reporting. This is used to determine when, where and what services to inspect. Standard sets of Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) are used by the CQC to provide a focus and direction for the inspections.

Ratings are used by the CQC to measure the regulatory compliance of a service and are awarded on a four-point scale: outstanding, good, requires improvement, or inadequate for each of the five key questions. Service providers are legally obliged to display their ratings.

In summary, the regulations are focused on protecting and enhancing the care and experience of individual patients. Service providers need to be patient-focused and provide safe, effective care supported by an open culture which is always striving to improve.

The CQC website provides further information about meeting the new regulations and the Fundamental Standards:


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