A clear direction for the Single Assessment Framework – Why, How and When?

Our Homecare Champion has her ear to the ground on CQC's upcoming changes and brings us the latest details on timescales and more information on what to expect.
Single Assessment Framework Why How and When
Marie Page
14th August 2023

Latest details on timescales and more information on upcoming changes

Service providers across health and social care have been waiting patiently for clear guidance and timelines regarding the transition to the CQC’s new Single Assessment Framework. This month has seen the first real commitment to how the changes will look and the timescales involved, which is refreshing and exciting. This article aims to give and overview of the why change is required, how the changes will look and when they will take place.


I’m sure that many will agree that the current CQC registration, inspection and rating processes can be challenging. The good news is that with the introduction of the new Single Assessment Framework comes a new way of working which will see an overhaul of how CQC regulates and inspects services. Additionally, they have recognised the need to restructure which has led to a time of monumental change throughout the organisation. The changes coincide with CQC’s new powers which (from April 2023) equip them to assess care at a local authority and integrated care level giving a much broader and informed view of health and social care and the experiences of people using services.

Currently regulation is complex and in the drive for sector recovery and change CQC want to regulate in a smarter and more effective way. In addition, they recognise that service performance indicators must be up-to-date and show the real situation. Instigating, implementing and adopting change is a joint effort and will see providers immersed in the ongoing assessment process allowing inspections to be much more target driven. In other words, inspections will take place when required and not as a matter of course.


The structure of CQC will be changing and will see operational teams specific to four geographical areas; South, London, Central and North. Specialist teams will consist of inspectors, assessors, regulatory co-ordinators and regulatory officers they will be supported by senior specialists who are experts in their fields.

CQC understand that services do not fit into boxes, therefore there will be a greater focus on working to understand local services and communities which will give clear insights into the challenges that services face. The data collected will allow CQC to be much more informed of trends that are localised enabling easier identification of patterns across areas. This will facilitate effective and collaborative working and allow CQC to have a balanced view when using their regulatory powers.

Continual assessment of services will allow evidence to be gathered at multiple points instead of through inspection only. The evidence will be assessed in conjunction with the Key Questions, Quality Statements and Evidence Categories. Assessment and evidence will be scored by the CQC teams and ratings will be updated regularly. Inspection reports will be short and published.

A new provider portal will be launched which will allow simple sharing of information and easy submission of notifications. Registration and changes to registration will be done through the portal and account management will give users easy access to information and their activity.


Implementation is later than anticipated as CQC are keen to take the transition forward at a steady pace to get it right! This will start with the South Network and a staged rollout up to Spring 2024

So what’s happening now? From August 2023 a small cohort of providers will be invited to join the new provider portal with a view to testing functionality. Then, from September 2023 invites will be given to a wider audience with an invite to all providers by March 2024. Functionality testing aims for providers to be able to enrol through the platform and submit four types of notifications.

From November 2023 invited providers will be able to go through the registration process, vary their registration, submit all types of notifications and will allow users to delegate access to colleagues within their own organisations.

From the end of March 2024 the new approach will be used to assess and inspect all services.

What’s next?

There’s lots of information to be found on the CQC website, through their email bulletins and on social media. They will be running regular webinars which are scheduled over in the coming months, giving guidance on the changes and various elements of the new approach.

The team at CareLineLive are keeping abreast of the changes and have informative related articles on our website.

You can find our previous articles on the New Single Assessment Framework in the links below:

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