By | 13 September, 2017

Are your staff prepared to answer some commonly asked questions during a CQC inspection? CQC inspectors often report that the inspection day experience involves practice managers running around frantically sorting through paper trails. For many practice managers, having the CQC on-site is one of the most stressful days on the job, or at least a day when they wish there was an ‘easy button’.

While no single system can be the universal ‘easy button’ for a CQC inspection, the Relias Learning Management System can certainly help to alleviate any stress by:

  • easing administrative burden on practice managers
  • reducing the paper trails and shelves of binders in cramped offices
  • streamlining processes by giving staff a central system for training on everything from statutory/mandatory content to updated policies and procedures

Below are some of the questions a CQC inspector might ask and how you can optimise your use of the Relias Learning Management System in preparation. For additional details, please connect with the Relias team.


Q: Where are your policies and procedures located? When where they last updated?

A: The Relias Learning Management System (RLMS) has a section devoted just for policies and procedures including version control functionality to ensure staff are reviewing and acknowledging acceptance of the latest release of policies and procedures.


Q: Have you received training? Please describe it.

A: Staff can access their learning transcript at any time to show training they have completed both online or in-person. Similarly, managers can pull training records for their entire staff.


Q: Tell me about how to handle a situation where there is a suspected safeguarding issue. Who is the lead for that, and how would you contact them? What if the issue arose after hours?

A: You can add organisation-specific information about who your Safeguarding lead is and their contact information directly after the mandatory Safeguarding content. Staff can easily access previous education through their learning transcript, so even if they don’t remember the Safeguarding Lead’s name, they know where to look and can demonstrate that to a CQC inspector.


Q: How are locums made familiar with the practice?

A: Training Plans can be specifically developed for locum practitioners so that when the practice is slated to be staffed by a locum, they are created an account in the system. That locum must then complete a brief organisation-specific orientation before starting their day. The course assignment can be automatically shared with any new user tagged as a locum.


Q: What is the induction plan for new joiners? Does this differ by staff type?

A: Distinct training plans can be created based on the department staff are assigned. Practice Managers can generate a single report in minutes to show the date of completion of the induction training plan for all staff in an easily exportable Excel format.


Q: Does the practice record training activities for their staff? Where are certificates etc. kept?

A: The system can keep record of all training including practice staff meeting attendance, attendance of live trainings including certificates, and online education. Staff and their managers can easily email themselves a copy of their certificates or print them at their convenience.


Q: Can staff describe the steps to take in the event of a spillage in the waiting room? What knowledge does staff retain?

A: In addition to knowing where to find information from previous learning and organisational policies, Relias ensures knowledge retention through BrainSparks. BrainSparks trigger learner’s memories by asking them key questions from previous training at 2, 4, 6, 30, 32, and 34 days from the completion of the original training.


Q: Are medical devices well-maintained before use? Are they decontaminated before and after use? Are staff trained and competent to use them?

A: Using workplace assessments, trained assessors can observe new joiners or recently qualified nurses or HCAs to sign off on their competency with specific medical devices.


Staff should be reminded that if there is an enquiry that they do not know the answer to, that finding a colleague who would know the answer or seeking out the answer in an existing technology system is equally as important to a CQC inspector. It demonstrates that staff are aware of the resources available to them and feel comfortable utilising them. While CQC inspections are not meant to be scary, they can be daunting, and optimising your technology systems to be ‘CQC-ready’ is just one way to ease the burden.


1 Prepare for a Care Quality Commission inspection – Appendix C Questions for non-clinical staff.pdf

2 Tips from Practices who have had a CQC Inspection 25th March 15.pdf  


Katrina Ong

Global Product Manager, Relias

Katrina Ong joined the Relias product management team in September 2013. She has served throughout the Product Management organisation in various roles including Social Care and new product introduction into international markets. She is currently focused on change management and product launch. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Human and Organisational Development and Psychology from Vanderbilt University.


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