CQC takes tougher line on manager registrations, law firm says

Around 37 applications for registration as a manager are rejected every month by the CQC, according to law firm Stephensons.

Associate solicitor and regulatory law expert Laura Hannah says: “It is clear is that the CQC’s registrations are now much more stringent than they were [when] the CQC was established.”

Openness and honesty are key to increasing a manager’s chance of registration success, she advises. “Working collaboratively, providing any pertinent information, are only likely to increase your chances. Any attempt to conceal these factors is only likely to lead to a negative decision or lead to cancellation of the registration and/or potential criminal enforcement.”

As a general rule, applications will require a CQC-countersigned DBS. Certificates should be under 12 months old at the time of submission. It is also important that the provider and manager applications match for items such as regulated activities applied for, and the location.

Registered manager – what is the criteria?

Regulation 7 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) regulations 2014 (the 2014 regulations) sets out that a person is not fit to manage any regulated activity unless:

  • they are of good character
  • have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience to manage the carrying on of the regulated activity
  • they are able by reason of their health, after reasonable adjustments are made, of doing so.

Good character

Schedule 4, Part 2 of the 2014 regulations covers previous convictions or professional disciplinary action; in addition, honesty, trustworthiness, reliability and respectfulness should be demonstrated.

Skills, qualifications and experience

The proposed manager has a full and adequate understanding of the requirements of the associated legislation, particularly the Health and Social Care Act 2008; the 2014 regulations and the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009. They must also demonstrate how they will manage the relevant regulated activities in line with this legislation. This will include previous management record and the inspection history of those services they managed, including the current service they are applying for. A level 5 diploma in leadership for health and social care or similar course is an advantage, particularly where a person has no previous management experience.

Case law

It was recently reported that an 82-year-old woman was permitted to register as a manager of a 25-bed care home for elderly people with dementia despite the CQC’s knowledge of a previous conviction resulting in a jail sentence. The woman had deceived a client of £9,000 in her previous role as a ‘financial advisor’.  Allowing the registration, the CQC noted the circumstances surrounding this case: the conviction was spent; the offence occurred during a period of difficult personal circumstances; the woman was deeply ashamed of her actions; she had been open about this conviction with her employer and the CQC; she had prior experience of the care industry; and her employer had provided a supportive reference pertaining to her good character. In the seven years between her conviction and her application for registration, there are no reports of further convictions or any suggestion of repeat conduct.

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