The provision of NHS Social Care and medical care are now regulated activities.
What this means is that to be able to practice in this arena, you have to apply for a licence to trade and you have to meet regulatory requirements the government has set out.
- Registration is your licence to trade
- If you don't have a licence, you cannot trade
- If you trade without a licence, you are committing a criminal offence
- An offence means you could be prosecuted, fined, or both
What does 'regulatory requirements' mean in practice
These are minimum standards set by the government, which every regulated organisation has to abide by to get the licence to trade. These requirements carry the force of law and must be followed.
Requirements usually follow in two parts:-
- The law itself - The Regulation, which is embodied in the Statutory Instrument passed by Parliament. This is usually relatively brief and to the point.
- Guidance - This is delegated to a regulatory body whose job is to explain the requirements in more detail and also enforce them. In this case, it is the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The guidance is not in itself enforceable in law, although the regulatory body might use this as recommended best practice by which to measure your compliance.