What are the essential standards?

Registered providers, registered managers, partners, nominated individuals and individuals all have to comply with the requirements of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated regulations (see below).

The essential standards of quality and safety are the way in which we interpret and define the requirements of the regulations.

The essential standards can help you decide if you're compliant with the regulations, as they focus on outcomes and describe the levels of quality and safety that people who use services should expect.

You must comply with the regulations at each location where you manage or provide regulated activities.

For example …

The essential standard (Outcome 1) ‘Respecting and involving people who use services’ requires that providers must ensure, among other things, that patients understand the care, treatment and support choices available to them. GPs, for example, should discuss both the implications of the treatment of cancer and the risks of leaving it untreated, so the patient can make an informed decision.

Read the full guidance

See our full guidance below - read the 'Prompts' sections for details of what compliance involves for each essential standard:

See details of the legal requirements of providers and registered managers: