Care Quality Commission
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ASC Excellence Award

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is seeking expressions of interest to run a CQC-licensed excellence award for adult social care providers. The Commission announced plans for the new award in February and now wants groups interested in running the scheme to come forward.

The CQC-backed award - due to launch in April 2012 - will be open to all social care providers offering regulated services, including care homes, domiciliary care, supported living and Share Lives services,  rehabilitation and residential substance misuse services.  

The new scheme will be voluntary and subject to a proportionate charge. Providers who achieve the award will see it published on CQC's website, alongside their core 'provider profile' showing compliance with CQC's own essential standards (due to launch later this year).

The award will be delivered by third party organisations licensed by CQC. CQC wants there to be a number of schemes available nationwide so that care providers can choose a scheme which is most suitable and affordable to them.

CQC is now inviting expressions of interest to run the scheme under licence (see pre-procurement process outlined below). A formal tender process will commence in April and further information will be made available at this time.

Successful applicants will need a track record of delivering audit or inspection programmes as well as knowledge of the social care sector. CQC is keen to encourage partnerships across the private and voluntary sectors and is happy to hear from bodies with experience in one of these areas who may be interested in submitting a collaborative tender. Interest from voluntary sector organisations is actively encouraged.

Bodies who successfully apply to deliver the scheme will need to be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). CQC hopes to be able to offer licences to successful assessment bodies in the summer. Assessment schemes will need to be designed and tested to achieve UKAS accreditation by April 2012.

Alongside this procurement process, a consultation will launch in May to ask people's views on the design principles for the scheme, the definition of excellence (developed for CQC by the Social Care Institute for Excellence), and to seek views on aspects of the assessment process. Feedback from the consultation will help to shape the agreements and performance targets for assessment schemes.

The pre-procurement process

  • Organisations with only audit / inspection experience or social care expertise are invited to submit an expression of interest, indicating that they would want to collaborate with another bidder
  • If you are already registered on the Delta website you will not need to register again, simply use your existing username and password. Please note there is a password reminder link on the homepage.
  • Suppliers must log in, go to your Response Manager and add the following Access Code: G5CD96SJ92.
  • If you experience any technical difficulties please contact the Delta eSourcing Helpdesk on call 0845 270 7050 or email

The procurement process

Further information regarding the formal procurement process will follow after the pre-procurement process.

For further information please contact the CQC press office on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England. Our aim is to make sure that better care is provided for everyone, whether it is in hospital, in care homes, in people's own homes, or anywhere else that care is provided. We also seek to protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act. We promote the rights and interests of people who use services and we have a wide range of enforcement powers to take action on their behalf if services are unacceptably poor.

We are introducing a new regulatory system that brings the NHS, independent healthcare and adult social care under a single set of essential standards of quality and safety for the first time. We register health and adult social care services if they meet essential standards, we monitor them to make sure that they continue to do so and we respond quickly if there are concerns that standards are not being maintained.  We rely on people who use services and those who care for and treat them to tell us about the quality and safety of services. This feedback is a vital part of our dynamic system of regulation which places the views, experiences, health and wellbeing of people who use services at its centre.