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CQC inspection: The five key questions

How does the CQC assess GP practices?

CQC inspectors use their professional judgement, supported by objective measures and evidence, to assess services against their five key questions:

  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs
  • Are they well-led?


The CQC expects that people are protected from abuse and avoidable harm.


The CQC expects people's care, treatment and support to achieve good outcomes, promote a good quality of life and be based on the best available evidence.


The CQC expects staff to involve and treat people with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect.


The CQC expects services to be organised so that they meet people's needs.


The CQC expects the leadership, management and governance of the practice to assure the delivery of high-quality person-centred care, support learning and innovation, and promote an open and fair culture.

Population groups

Along with the five key question, the CQC looks at the quality of care for the following groups:

  • Older people
  • People with long-term conditions
  • Families, children and young people
  • Working age people (including those recently retired and students)
  • People whose circumstances make them vulnerable
  • People experiencing poor mental health (including those with dementia).

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