Relationship and touch points with the regulator :
How to manage them?

by Mark Topps

We know the importance of building a relationship with the regulator, however with more and more of us not having a named inspector, this is getting harder to achieve. In this week’s blog, I look at the touch points, how to manage them and some tips I would implement to build that relationship with the regulator.  

3 Steps to Building a better Relationship.

  • Understand the CQC

Understanding the role of the CQC is paramount and you should familiarise yourself with their framework and what they will be looking for during inspections. If you do not know this, it is likely that you will not pass your CQC inspection, and the relationship with the regulator will never be as positive. 

  • Open Communication

We know that the regulator holds us to account and they expect transparency and we should all be working in this way. If you have a duty of candour, there is less chance of them finding something they did not know. You should ensure you have processes in place for open and transparent conversations and be willing to answer questions, provide information and address any concerns they may have.

  • Be Professional

Social care professionals are passionate and sometimes that can lead us to being defensive and hot headed. We need to remember that the inspector is there to do a job and we must remain professional at all times. 

If you are lucky enough to have a named inspector, make the most of the situation and use it to your advantage of having someone you can ask for support from but also share what is happening within your service more easily. 

If you do not have a named inspector, do not panic. We can still implement some meaningful touch points.

Implementing 10 Meaningful Touch Points

  1. The first thing you can do would be to put together a communication template as this is a proactive way to demonstrate your compliance, continuous improvements, transparency and willingness to engage with the regulator. Even when there are no immediate issues or inspections you should be communicating on a regular basis, which should include: 
    • Any key achievements 
    • Any areas of concerns that have been identified and what actions you have taken to address these.
    • Any safeguarding concerns and what you did to investigate and what you will do to prevent reoccurrence.
    • Any training and development opportunities for your team such as workshops, training sessions etc. 
    • Compliments and complaints – including any action taken as a result of a complaint. 
    • Staffing and recruitment update – let the regulator know if there are any staffing concerns, your recruitment efforts etc. 
  2. Monthly Trend Analysis – Data should become your best friend and you should be using it to generate some simple graphics/charts that you can use to share with the regulator, along with the trends you have found and what actions you are putting into place if required to address any areas of concern that have been highlighted. Even if there is no inspection looming you should strive to utilise your data to tell the story. audIT on Cloud by InvictIQ empowers providers with real-time data insights, enabling effective storytelling The dashboard gives user a quick and easy way to view service performance. With all of your information in one place, users no longer need hunt through various files. 
  3. Pre Inspection Meeting – request a pre-inspection meeting with your inspector as this will allow you an opportunity to discuss the inspection process, clarify their expectations and allow you to ask any questions that you have and address any concerns. This is not something that may providers do, but something the CQC are more than happy to attend. 
  4. Complaints and Concerns – You should be notifying the regulator of any complaints or concerns that you have received, what action is being taken and the lessons learnt. This will not only show the regulator that you take these seriously, but also demonstrates your transparency and commitment to addressing issues.  
  5. Reporting incidents and safeguarding concerns in a timely manner is essential. You may not know the outcome but you can update the regulator as needed. 
  6. You should notify the CQC of any changes to your organisation so that your registration is up to date, including:
    • Contact details, including the name of the service or address. 
    • Changes to the registered manager
    • Changes to the nominated individual, officers, partners and directors.
    • Changes to your statement of purpose
    • Insolvency 
    • If you are stopping regulated activities 
  7. Keep the CQC informed about actions taken to address any compliance issues identified during inspections or through self-assessment. Share progress reports and updates on improvements made.
  8. Be responsive to any requests for information, data or records from the CQC. Timely and accurate responses demonstrate cooperation and commitment to compliance.
  9. Continuously work to maintain compliance with CQC standards, even when there is no inspection looming. This will help build a long-term positive relationship with the CQC. Ensure you communicate with what you are doing, implementing and trialling, including any projects you are working on, research initiatives, collaborations with other organisations etc. In this regard, platforms like audIT On Cloud by InvictIQ come handy. It is an easy-to-use, one-stop solution for managing all your audit, inspection and complaints, making your Care businesses compliance ready always.
  10. If you have questions or uncertainties about regulatory requirements, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from the CQC. They can provide clarification and support to help you be compliant with their standards.

Remember that building a positive relationship with a CQC inspector is an ongoing process. It’s not just about the inspection day itself but about demonstrating a commitment to providing high-quality care and being open to feedback and improvement over time.


"If we want our regulators to do better, we have to embrace a simple idea: regulation isn't an obstacle to thriving free markets; it's a vital part of them."
James Surowiecki
Mark Topps

Mark Topps is a social care leader who has worked in the care industry since 2004 and is currently working as a regional support manager. He regularly advocates, appearing on television, radio and podcasts and has started many campaigns for change in legislation and culture within the industry. Mark is the co-founder of The Caring View which is a social care podcast, YouTube show and free resource initiative for the sector. He also co-founded The Health and Social Care Club, which is an audio event hosted on LinkedIn. Mark is also the social media and marketing director at the National Association of Care and Support Workers.


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