Well-led characteristics

Below is a summary description of how the CQC would characterise an ‘outstanding’ service from the point of view of being well-led and managed.

For a detailed description of the characteristics of an ‘outstanding’ service please click here

  • There are key characteristics that make leadership of the service exceptional and distinctive. The leadership, governance and culture are used to drive and improve high- quality, person-centred care.
  • The service has a strategy and supporting objectives that are stretching and challenging, but realistic and achievable. Staff are strongly collaborative and are motivated by, and proud of, the service.
  • Governance is well-embedded into the running of the service. Performance management processes are effective, reviewed regularly, and reflect best practice. Leaders and managers provide feedback to staff and there is clear evidence that this leads to improvement.
  • There are consistently high levels of constructive engagement with staff and people who use services, including all equality groups. Rigorous and constructive challenge from people who use services, the public and stakeholders is welcomed and seen as a vital way of holding services to account.
  • There is a particularly strong emphasis on continuous improvement. The views of people using the service are at the core of quality monitoring and assurance arrangements. Innovation is celebrated and shared.
  • The service has a systematic approach to working with other organisations to improve care outcomes.