Preparing for Inspection

Your Questions Answered: “How do I prepare for a CQC inspection?”

Helen Johns, the lead trainer on our Activity Coordinator Training Course, writes …

Thank you for this great question – there could be many different parts to my answer.
First of all, try to remember that activity coordinators are probably already preparing by doing the great work that they do with those they care for day in and day out.

But, if you are asking about how you can prepare yourself to meet with the inspector or another member of the inspection team and discuss your work, then let’s have a look at that.

“They rely on you to showcase what you are doing by showing them, describing what happens and providing evidence.”

At inspection, inspectors are looking to find good provision, rather than to find fault. Of course, if something is not right they will identify it, but their main aim is to make a judgement about the quality of care. Inspectors are keen to see good practice and to see the impact that has on the people in that care setting. However, they rely on you to showcase what you are doing by showing them, describing what happens and providing evidence.

In relation to activity provision, this is likely to come under the ‘Responsive’ element of the standards. Inspectors will seek evidence through observation but also through written records, examples and quotes (from residents and family members). They may interview you to find out about how you and the rest of the team provide meaningful activity.

It may help you to consider these questions:
How do you find out about people’s life history?
How do you find out about people’s current preferences?
How do you find out about people’s current abilities?
From this information, how you plan your activity programme?
What sort of planned activities are available?
How do you adapt activities?
How do you evaluate activities so that they continue to respond to people’s current needs?

The answers to these questions will give you a head start and cover the planned activity programme, but also be prepared to share information about how you encourage the day-to-day meaningful occupation in the home:

  • How those who don’t engage in group activity also have access to meaningful activity.
  • How the whole team of staff are involved in providing everyday activity (eg supporting people to water plants, help with washing up etc).
  • The top three things that you do well (eg provide opportunities for people to get into the local community).

I hope this gives you some ideas about how you might prepare yourself for a discussion about your programme.

Good luck.

Helen Johns is the lead trainer for The Daily Sparkle Activity Coordinator Training and has been developing and delivering our courses since April 2017. As well as working for The Daily Sparkle, Helen runs an activity coordinator forum in her local area, provides training and consultancy for care homes in relation to activity and wellbeing and works as an Expert by Experience for CQC inspections. You can find details of all upcoming training courses here, and her other articles here.