Getting to grips with CQC Registration

When buying or selling a dental practice, changing the CQC Registration over is a crucial part of the process. This is to ensure that: (i) you are registered correctly and (ii) the timings of the registration do not hold back the transaction because you do not have the appropriate documentation at the right time, particularly where NHS England are concerned.

Some facts… Did you know that:

  • The CQC Registration Process can now take up to ten weeks. If you make one error on the form you have to re-submit the entire application.You need your CQC counter-signed DBS Checks returned before you can submit an application and this too can take a number of weeks. The CQC Forms have recently changed and now require more information.

The CQC Forms must now be completed on-line through the CQC ‘Provider Portal’.

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Buyers and sellers of NHS practices need to be aware that they will have to go through the CQC Registration Process twice. The first application will be to register the partnership to be set up between the Seller and the Buyer in respect of the NHS Contract. It is worth mentioning here that NHS England will not accept the notice to transfer the NHS Contract from the Seller’s name to the partnership until it has seen a letter from the CQC confirming that the partnership will be registered with the CQC.

The second application (which will need to be made after completion of the sale) is to de-register the partnership, and to register the buyer as the new provider of the dental services. The dental practice purchase agreement will usually provide that the Seller will retire from the partnership three months after completion. As the second CQC application can take 10 weeks to process, it is important that this second application is made immediately after completion. Again, it is worth mentioning, that NHS England will not accept notice to transfer the NHS Contract from the partnership to the Buyer until it has seen written confirmation from the CQC that the Buyer will be registered as the new provider at the practice.

Areas to consider:

The Forms

There is one main application form to complete. Depending on the type of registration you need, you will need to complete different parts of the form. You can register as an Organisation, Partnership or Individual. Ancillary forms are often required to be submitted at the same time including the application to register a Registered Manager. You will also need:

  • A Statement of Purpose. This document should set out your aims and objectives, the services you provide, the needs your service meets, your contact details, your service’s legal entity and the places where your services are provided.
  • A Quality Management/Procedures Policy. This is to provide information about your policy and procedures for: assessing and monitoring the quality of your service, identifying and assessing risks to the health, safety and welfare of people who use your service, the maintenance and safe storage of records about service users and staff and obtaining and acting on feedback from service users.
  • A Safeguarding Policy. This is to provide information about your policy and procedures on safeguarding, and to provide guidance about how people can raise concerns about abuse.
  • A Governance document. This is to provide information about how the management of your organisation is structured and organised. This is to ensure your governance arrangements enable you to meet the fundamental standards and continue to meet them in the future.

How do I get a DBS check?

DBS checks have replaced the more commonly known enhanced CRB checks.

You must get a DBS check via the CQC and it must be countersigned by them and it must not be more than six months old when you submit your CQC application. You can obtain one at

There are agencies which can provide DBS checks which are often cheaper and quicker. Whilst acceptable for the purposes of recruitment (e.g. dental nurses, associate dentists and therapists) they will not be accepted when submitted with your CQC application.

Enhanced DBS checks can take over four weeks to be processed.

When should I start the CQC process when buying or selling a dental practice?

The common misconception is that you should start the process as soon as possible but this is not always the case. You should always seek the advice of your solicitor as the CQC application needs to be tied-in with your sale/ purchase.

If you apply too early, the CQC will reject your application and you must remember that your DBS check will only be valid for six months.

How Hempsons can help

We have several years’ experience in advising dentists on CQC forms and dealing with queries raised by the CQC. We also offer a service whereby we can draft and submit your CQC forms for you (through the on-line CQC Provider Portal). This will take a significant burden away from you as the forms are quite complex and very time consuming especially if you are not used to doing them.

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 Full articles:

Tips when selling your practice; A quick ‘Heads up’IT is no longer a luxury; Performers List Appeals; The Importance of Written Associate Agreements.