How to make sure your HR is ready for CQC and IHW inspection

During a Care Quality Commission (CQC) or Health Inspectorate Wales inspection, your practice HR processes will be assessed. Failure to have adequate HR could lead to a failure of the audit, and serious consequences for the future of your business. What can you do to ensure your HR is up to scratch?

What CQC inspectors are looking for

Inspectors will be examining whether your staff are skilled, qualified and properly trained to fulfil their roles, and the onus is on you, as the business owner, to evidence this.

How to get your HR ready

  • Organise your policies and procedures

Firstly, does your business have HR policies and procedures in place? Check that you have the following:

  • Up to date job descriptions.
  • Relevant contracts of employment / terms – including formal job offer letters for every member of staff.
  • DBS checks and documentation for all staff who require them
  • At least two references for every member of staff.
  • Employee handbook containing sickness and absence policies, employee rights and procedures for disciplinaries or grievances.
  • For healthcare staff check confirmation of Hepatitis B status.
  • It’s also always a good idea to check the points raised from any previous audits as a starting point – addressing all the issues and then provide updates where needed.
  • Implement an appraisal system

Inspectors are keen to see whether your staff are properly trained to allow them to do their jobs properly. Without a performance review or appraisal system it is hard to document this and ensure that staff are being developed. This can take many guises, read our blogs on how to conduct an appraisal, continuous performance reviews or implement appraisal software.

  • Streamline your onboarding process

A good induction plan for new starters also shows inspectors that your staff are properly equipped for the role. Read our guide on how to onboard your team.

  • Provide regular training

A robust training programme demonstrates that your staff are being developed, able to do their jobs and will not put patients at risk. Start your programme at the beginning of each year and align it with your appraisal programme to assess its success and identify areas where staff may need improvement or additional support.

  • Consider an HR information system

For larger practices it may be worth investing in an HR system, such as Breathe HR, to help you keep records of your employees, manage sickness and absence, time recording and holidays. Keeping all your information in one place will help inspectors recognise your commitment to HR.

  • Educate staff on audit requirements

Inform staff about inspections, and what the inspectors are looking for so that you are working together as a team. Practice leaders need to understand requirements, so they can assist in ensuring that your business is compliant.

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