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

In the transition to the CQC new Single Assessment framework we are finally at the advent of the roll out. In these early stages, location is significant to the phased rollout, commencing with CQC South region. This will consist of a selected cohort of early adopter providers and will involve a number of planned assessments with CQC stating that they will be ‘continuing to respond to risk’.

Early adopters will have an opportunity to experience how the new framework will work and will be give opportunities to feedback on the process. CQC are keen to point out that they will be seeking and listening to feedback from providers and will adjust their approach accordingly and communicate any changes when they are made.


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 and East of England, 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.


21st November 2023 – 5th December 2023: 

  • A small cohort of early adopters will experience planned assessments. This will be specific to the Southern region.

From 5th December 2023:

  • Assessments commence of providers in local authority areas including:
    • Bedford Borough
    • Central Bedfordshire
    • Luton
    • Milton Keynes
  • All registered providers in the South region.
  • Assessments of all local authorities start, pending government approval.

From 9th January 2024

  • Assessments commence for all registered providers in CQC London and East of England region.

From 16th January 2024:

  • Assessments commence for a small number of providers in the CQC North region and Midlands region.

From 6th February 2024:

  • Assessments commence for all registered providers in CQC North region and Midlands region.
  • Trust well-led assessments start in all regions (NHS trusts and foundation trusts).
  • We assess applications to register a new activity or service using the new approach.

End of June 2424

  • The new Single Assessment Framework will be regularly reviewed until the end of June 2024. CQC are committed to learning from the feedback received from the providers that they have assessed under the new single assessment framework.
  • Frequencies of assessment will be decided which will be sector specific and focus on:
    • Learning from the previous 6 months
    • View of regulatory risk
    • Issues affecting health and care systems

Expected start of July 2024

  • Dependent on the decided assessment frequencies CQC will publish a more detailed schedule for planned assessments, including:
    • A date by when all ratings will have been updated for all providers, signaling the end of the transition period.
    • Rating information to be published.

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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