There are several good reasons for using the Self-Assessment Tool:
Not least, it can help improve your chances of getting a higher CQC rating or, if you are already happy with your current one, helping ensure you keep it. It can achieve this by helping you identify existing issues with the service, and to give you early warning of potentially new problems. Furthermore, you can use the tool to identify the measures you need to take in order to rectify any existing or potential issues. At the same time, the CQC will recognise the use of such a tool as evidence that you are taking quality assurance seriously within the service.
But more than this, using the tool can help you with the day-to-day management of the service. This is because the evidence you gather for each key line of enquiry provides essential management information as well as being useful with regards to CQC ratings. And this really gets to the essence of the tool: it is about encouraging good QA practice on a day-to-day basis, rather than simply helping you prepare for your next CQC inspection.
And this leads onto the idea that using the tool on a regular basis can change the culture of the service. This can be achieved by encouraging the development of a ‘quality mindset’, and, alongside this, encouraging changes in attitude and behaviour across the whole staff team with regards to quality and QA. Using the tool on a regular (ideally daily) basis will help you and your colleagues view quality assurance as a core management activity, rather than as an ‘add-on’ just to keep the CQC happy.