Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Produced in partnership with Tim Spencer-Lane
Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Tim Spencer-Lane provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • What is the CQC?
  • The CQC’s legal framework
  • The CQC’s objectives
  • The CQC’s functions
  • Inspections
  • Enforcement powers
  • Market oversight
  • Guidance on dealing with an inspection
  • Appealing a registration decision by the CQC
  • more

This Practice Note sets out the role, powers and functions of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

What is the CQC?

The CQC is a non-departmental statutory body, sponsored by the Department of Health, responsible for regulating health and social care services in England, as well as protecting the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MeHa 1983).

The CQC’s legal framework

The CQC was established by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (HSCA 2008) and came into force in 2009. This dissolved and merged the functions of the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission into a single health and social care regulatory body.

The CQC’s role has since been supplemented by wider legislation and regulation. Regulations are made under powers set out in HSCA 2008, s 20.

The CQC’s objectives

The CQC’s main objective 'is to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of people who use health and social care services'. Its remit includes both the NHS and local authorities, as well as independent providers of health and social care.

The CQC’s is required to perform its functions for the general purpose of encouraging:

  1. the improvement of health and social care services

  2. the provision of health and social care