The QCS Podcast

Inspection inside out - What does 'Good Character' mean?

March 01, 2022 Quality Compliance Systems Season 1 Episode 1
The QCS Podcast
Inspection inside out - What does 'Good Character' mean?
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to your new podcast,’ Inspection inside out’ by Abi Spence. Over the next few weeks, Abi will be looking at the key elements of what CQC is looking for to become a CQC Registered Manager.

Meet Abi Spence
Abi, as the Registration and Inspection Specialist, has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception, the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement, Abi has developed a comprehensive and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission.

The ’Inspection inside out’ series is where Abi will de-mystify the process in a way that will help you decide whether a registered manager in the care sector is the right career for you. 

In this episode
Abi focuses on what does 'Good Character' mean and what will an inspector look for and do to ensure you are of good character

Hi!  My Name is Abi Spence, and I am a Registration and Inspection Specialist for QCS…. That is usually where the room loses interest at a party…but I have a feeling that you may be a bit more interested in what I have to say.  

Welcome to your new podcast,’ inspection inside out’, where over the next few weeks I will be looking at the key elements of what CQC is looking for to become a CQC Registered Managers in bite sized chunks. 

So how am I a specialist?  Well. I have worked for CQC and predecessor organisations for over a decade in both policy, information and as a registration I have the goods for you!

Today I will be talking about good character, because the law says that is what you have to have if you are going to be a registered manager.

It is a bit of a funny phrase, right?  I mean we don’t go around saying oooh I really like Bea she is a good sort.  Good character that one...  but it is always implied.  It’s what we look for in the people we work with, or friends with associate with.

So, what guidance does CQC give about regulation 7 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: where we find mention of good character?

The intention of this regulation is to ensure that people who use services have their needs met because the regulated activity is managed by an appropriate person.

It states:

‘It is not possible to outline every character trait an individual should have, but we would expect to see that the processes followed take account of honesty, trustworthiness, reliability and respectfulness.

Wow but unpacking those…we all have different opinions don’t we? 

They do have a schedule of things that should be considered.  This is to look at whether an individual is ‘unfit’ to be a manager and whether they are of good character which can be found on the link provided what’s important is that the things on the schedule are considered by CQC.    

Ok so we have established that there is definitely a judgement call when we look at good character. But how do CQC assess it?  

Well…your application form has found its way to my desk let’s say – and it has your employment history.  The first thing I am going to do is …Google you!  Well, that’s not as scientific as you thought, but this is where some people fall foul.

Out there in the big wide universe is a lot of information about most of us.  Whether it is a celebrity who has said something they shouldn’t have 5 years ago, to drunken nights out.  I am not saying that your social profile would be the reason you are not of good character...but if it is an open profile – are you showing honesty, trustworthiness, reliability and respectfulness?  I can feel people running to their computers to make their profile private right now.

I might have also seen you winning awards for your care of individuals...but maybe I have seen the local paper cover you at the magistrates’ court 10 years ago.

Well I am glad to tell you, that if you have made a mistake in your past this does not exclude you from applying to be a manager – if you have had this experience, and you have a managerial role in the social care sector... you have already disclosed this to the provider and they should have assessed this to make sure you are safe to carry out your role.

Obviously each conviction should be looked at in the light of the regulations and they should be spent. If you are on the barred list for adults and children, then you know you cannot work with Adults and Children.  If you have been a career burglar until last Tuesday, I am sorry this isn’t the role for you right now.  

So, if you do have a conviction.  When the inspector asks about your DBS.  Be clear, be honest which in itself shows some of those traits the inspector is looking for.

I have registered people who have had convictions around fraud and assault. That doesn’t sound too good but when you take into consideration the circumstances, how long ago the conviction was and the change in life and how the provider has stopped the risk– the story is very different, and they have made fantastic managers. 

So, you haven’t robbed a bank – but I am looking at your history and I am seeing a big gap between work.  Maybe you had a trip to Sri Lanka to find yourself, maybe there was no suitable positions, or you were caring for a sick relative.  Just remember what CQC is looking for – honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, and respectfulness. 

In short – tell the truth.  Don’t fudge it or make excuses – be clear as to why.  Some people try and make it look like a charity trip that never happened... if your social profile says different... then that is not a good look!

Lastly – if you get to interview – keep it real.  Don’t try and be someone you are not.  The inspector needs to trust who you are.  Not over rehearsed and disingenuous.  Those that shine bright are those who are real.  If you care about people, if you want the very best for them, show up for them, and do a good job – you are displaying your character – and it’s looking pretty good.

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