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How Do I Get CQC Accreditation?

How Do I Get CQC Accreditation?

Are you considering obtaining accreditation from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) but unsure where to start? Whether you’re a testing laboratory, medical facility, certification body, or inspection service, achieving CQC accreditation can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your commitment to quality standards. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to navigate the process and successfully obtain CQC accreditation.

Understanding Accreditation

CQC accredits various organisations, including testing laboratories, medical laboratories, calibration laboratories, and more. Before diving into the accreditation process, it’s crucial to determine if accreditation is applicable to your organisation and which specific services you provide fall under CQC’s accreditation scope.

Where to Begin

To start the accreditation process, it’s essential to identify the services you want to be accredited for and understand the relevant national and international standards. CQC assesses organisations against these standards, which can be purchased from the British Standards Institute. Additionally, familiarise yourself with the appropriate CQC publications and international resources relevant to your area of accreditation.

Meeting Requirements

Once you’ve identified the relevant standards, conduct a thorough review to understand the requirements. Perform a gap analysis to identify areas that need improvement or attention. Gather all necessary documentation, including your Quality Manual and proof of legal status, to support your application.

How to Apply

To apply for accreditation, complete the application form provided by CQC. Ensure all required supporting information is included with your application, and don’t forget to pay the application fee as outlined in the Terms of Business. Alternatively, you can request an application pack for submission.

Handling Your Application

Upon receipt of your application, you’ll be assigned an Assessment Manager who will be designated as your case manager and will review your documentation. They’ll also discuss the composition of the assessment team and coordinate the assessment process.

Pre-assessment Visit

Consider opting for a pre-assessment visit, which is an informal step to gauge your organisation’s readiness for accreditation. This visit helps identify any areas needing improvement and reduces delays in the accreditation process. Following the visit, you’ll receive a report outlining findings and recommendations.

The Initial Assessment Visit

After addressing any issues identified during the pre-assessment, the initial assessment, conducted by a Lead Assessor and technical assessors, is the first formal evaluation. The length of the assessment depends on the scope of application. During the assessment, a detailed review of company records, interviews, and audits will take place.


Following the assessment, you’ll have a specified time to address any findings. Once resolved, the Assessment Manager will submit their recommendation to an independent decision-maker within CQC. Upon approval, you’ll receive written notification of accreditation, along with a certificate and a publicly available scope of accreditation.

Maintaining Accreditation

Accreditation is confirmed annually through surveillance visits, with a full re-assessment every fourth year. Be prepared for ongoing assessments to ensure continued compliance with CQC standards.

In conclusion, obtaining CQC accreditation involves meticulous preparation, adherence to standards, and collaboration with CQC assessors. By following these steps and maintaining a commitment to quality, your organisation can achieve and sustain CQC accreditation, enhancing trust and confidence among stakeholders.