The regulation of adult social care providers is now the responsibility of the new independent regulator, the Care Quality Commission, which took over from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Healthcare Commission and the Mental Health Act Commission on 1 April 2009. All providers of regulated health and adult social care services must be registered with the Care Quality Commission.
The Commission for Social Care Inspection published quality ratings of adult social care providers and the Care Quality Commission will continue to do so.
The Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulations 2002 and associated national minimum standards (NMS) set out the qualifications required of staff who are employed to care for people in their own homes.
The regulations require that all care workers must have integrity and be of good character, have the experience and skills necessary and be physically and mentally fit for the purposes of the work which they are to perform.
The NMS for Domiciliary Care Agencies require that care or support workers delivering personal care who do not already hold a relevant care qualification are required to demonstrate their competence and register for the relevant NVQ in care award—either National Vocational Qualification in Care level 2 or level 3—within the first six months of employment and complete the full award within three years.
The regulations stipulate that agencies should ensure that employees receive training and appraisal which are appropriate to the work they are to perform, together with suitable assistance, including time off, for the purpose of obtaining qualifications appropriate to such work.