To register all I need to do is fill out an application form?
The application form is exactly as it says, "your application for registration" and this is just the beginning of the process.
Your application may well be rejected if you do not meet the requirements, or delayed if the CQC feels they need further information. The application requires you to make a declaration that you are fully compliant at the time of the application.
If you fail to meet all the requirements, you will have to support this with a detailed action plan of how and when you expect to be fully compliant. It is clearly easier to just get compliant in the first place.
What this means is that there is a fair amount of work you have to do to get your affairs in order BEFORE you make the application.
Can I say I am compliant and catch up with it later?
It is more common than most would like to admit that managers often declare that they are complaint when in fact they are not, but hope to catch up afterwards when they have the time.
The Registration document is a formal declaration of compliance.
A false declaration is a serious criminal offence and not a minor white lie ..... this is the official CQC position.
Can I still register if I don’t comply with some of the essential standards?
Yes, you should be able to.
When you fill in your registration application, the CQC will ask you to tell them why you don’t comply, how you're managing the risks posed to patients and when you will become compliant.
They'll only refuse registration if they think patients are being put at risk.
What if I don't register?
Trading without registration is an offence. In plain English, this means you will be committing a criminal offence and liable to hefty fines of up to £50,000 and prosecution and possibly a stretch at Her Majesty's pleasure.
Don't even think about it !
Section 10(1) of the Act dictates a fine of £4,000 for "Carrying on a regulated activity without being registered"
What if I am not compliant?
This is not a black and white issue of being compliant or not compliant.
The CQC will take a very reasonable approach based on the degree of seriousness of your failure and potential harm to the public. In most cases, they will also give you an opportunity to fix things and a time frame within which you have to fix this, together with follow up visits to check this.
If you persistently fail in the standards, they can impose fines from £300 to £50,000; suspend trading until you fix things; close you down, and in serious cases prosecute you as well.
Do I have to re-register every year?
No – you only have to register once, but you’ll need to keep your registration up to date
This means that you will have to inform the CQC of any changes e.g. change of registered manager or changes to the services you provide, etc.
And of course, remain compliant with the outcomes.