Questions and AnswersHow can we help you?

You can find answers to our frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please submit your question using our form.

    Question:

    What does an inspection involve?

    Answer:

    Inspectors typically spend a day on-site and another remotely examining all aspects of the care home. Before the site visit, several documents and records are required so they can be reviewed before the inspection.

    The inspection process utilises an electronic inspection tool CAREINSPECT®; this system reduces inspector opinions and ‘judgements’ and gathers evidence to support improvements,

    The inspector(s) will observe practice and discuss with staff, residents and visitors in a supportive and conversational manner.

    Within the sections above, 700+ aspects are reviewed, evidenced, checked and comprehensively reported. This process includes reviewing documentation, interviewing management, staff, residents and relatives, and observation.

    Question:

    Does CiUK issue Inspection Reports? What else is provided?

    Answer:

    Following the inspection, a DRAFT report is issued for factual accuracy checking, and after this is reviewed, a FINAL report is published. Reports have clickable links to source material (standards, regulations, best practices, etc). CiUK also issues an action plan covering all issues of concern. All reports and action plans are confidential.

    To support the care service in continuous improvement, CiUK will provide backup assistance, which includes telephone and online support and access to documents and advice.

    Question:

    Are you able to inspect individual homes or groups of homes?

    Answer:

    CIUK is the largest and has the widest scope of Independent Inspection Bodies for adult care homes in the UK.

    This means that should it be one, or any number of care homes, CIUK can carry out inspections promptly and professionally.

    Question:

    Is CIUK able to inspect Domiciliary Care Services?

    Answer:

    CiUK is in the final stages of development to undertake Inspections and issue Certificates for Domiciliary Care Services. This service will be available UK-wide from the end of Spring 2024.

    Question:

    Why was there a move to set up Independent Registered Inspection Bodies?

    Answer:

    In 2014, representatives from the care sector and others (UK Health and Social Care Regulators, UKAS, British Standards Institute (BSI), care providers, professional bodies, representative bodies and academics) contributed to a programme that established the creation of Registered Inspection Bodies for care homes with the intention that these bodies would be accountable and impartial, and would allow a subsequent distancing of Inspection from Regulation based on the most effective inspection models in other countries.
    There is a strong need to make quality the focus of activity rather than confuse regulation with an inspection.

    Question:

    What is the point of having an independent inspection?

    Answer:

    The CIUK inspection provides irrefutable evidence of the quality and compliance of a care home. This evidence will support the home in improving its position with regulators and commissioners. It also provides a basis of objectivity on which to develop improvement action plans.

    CIUK, as a Registered Body, can provide detailed information to stakeholders that will help improve care standards, improve performance and reduce risk. The inspection report is detailed and provides information on sources for standards, regulations and best practices.

    Question:

    Do you help care homes sort out any issues raised?

    Answer:

    The report and backup information assists care homes in pinpointing issues, and the source data gives clear information on resolution. CIUK will assist in providing information and improving care and performance.

    Question:

    Who can organise an Inspection?

    Answer:

    A CIUK inspection can be organised by a care provider, investor, or financier and has benefits in improving care and the operation of a care home and understanding the risk and recovery steps needed to be taken. This information supports the care home to improvement and provides investors with objective and verifiable data that can be relied upon.

    Question:

    To what extent would a CIUK inspection provide assurances of the quality of management, and would it assist management in making improvements that might be required?

    Answer:

    The CIUK inspection objectively benchmarks the quality within a care setting against the legally required or national standards. In identifying the degree to which a service meets those standards and requirements, you can get an excellent measure of care home quality. By identifying areas of weakness, you can direct management efforts to improve.
    Repeat inspections will objectively demonstrate the progress over time.

    Question:

    Why would an operator look to get an independent CIUK inspection rather than wait for a regulator visit?

    Answer:

    An operator might do this for a number of reasons.
    Firstly, to get an objective measure against which to benchmark internal quality, secondly, to provide reassurance to stakeholders, thirdly, in anticipation of a sale or refinance, particularly where the existing regulator rating is poor or dates back some time.

    Question:

    Is the CIUK Inspection process intrusive to the business or likely to alienate staff?

    Answer:

    CIUK inspectors are very experienced in putting the staff team at ease. Remember that the findings are not public unless the company/business/management chooses to make them so. The purpose is not to find fault, as is often the feeling with regulatory visits, but to help benchmark against requirements and standards.

    Question:

    How long does a CIUK Inspection take?

    Answer:

    The pre-inspection form is completed, and a few documents are securely uploaded to CIUK before the inspection.

    The onsite inspection is usually 1 to 2 days involving one or two inspectors.

    Question:

    You guarantee your inspections - what does this mean?

    Answer:

    CIUK guarantees that if a care service addresses the non-compliance issues raised and maintains the areas evidenced as compliant, the next regulatory inspection will result in improved gradings.

    Question:

    Do Regulators and Commissioners utilise CiUK reports?

    Answer:

    A CiUK report is comprehensive and evidence-based, which means that the report strongly supports the evidence that regulators and commissioners rely on. The care home can demonstrate effectiveness, compliance, and a solid commitment to continuous improvement.

    All regulators (CQC/ CI/ CIW/ RQIA) will use this information to evidence an effective care home.