Frequently asked Inspector questions

Q. What qualifications do you need to become an inspector?

A. Experience is more important than qualifications for an Inspector position. We would expect you to have a background in Health or Social Care, or more specifically in a certain field if applying for eg a dental inspection position etc.

Q. What is the day to day life of an inspector like?

A. Inspector days vary depending on the directorate you may work within, and whether you are doing an inspection, or writing a report. Listen to what a few of our existing inspectors have to say about their role

Q.How many inspections do you do/ frequency of visits per month?

A. This varies depending on the directorate you work within and your geographical portfolio. Some inspections last less than one day, but others can take up to 1 week with a team of people.  More information will be available at interview on a specific role.

Q. Are flexible/ part time hours available?

A. Most of our inspector positions are full time, but we do encourage applications for part time hours, as this can be something that is discussed and agreed at the manager’s discretion.

Q. How much travel is involved?

A. Travel varies depending on your geographical location, and the location of services within your patch. This may also vary depending on the directorate in which you are working – and may involve overnight stays. You are advised to check this with the manager at interview.

Q. Can you claim expenses?

A. Yes you can claim travel expenses from your contracted base, as well as subsistence allowance when travelling overnight, but there are certain restrictions as set out in our policy.

Q. What are the opportunities for progression and training?

A. All inspectors go through our learning academy and online training which is ongoing throughout their career

Q. How does the pay grade move up each year?

A. The pay grade moves up as per the Government’s increase but only if approved

Q. Can you keep current job and also be an inspector?

A. An inspector role is full-time, so it would unadvisable to keep any other role – it may also be a conflict of interest. However, we do employ Bank Inspectors and Specialist Advisors, which are much more flexible, for details of these please contact our Flexible Workforce Office at

Q. Is there flexibility with it being a home based role to work hours that suit (i.e, to take children to school) or is it strictly 9-5?

A. There is some flexibility but this will all depend on the manager’s discretion and the rest of the team’s working pattern.

Q. Do the hours count towards registered hours for NMC pin?

A. We would advise you to check with NMC as there may be implications due to the nature of the role

Q. Can I retain special class status with the NHS pension scheme when in an Inspector position?

A. CQC is not a NHS employer and does not employ nursing managers and therefore all special class retention decisions are at the discretion of the NHS pension scheme. In the majority of cases, special class status is not retained in CQC roles where nursing qualifications are not a requirement of the role. If your role requires a nursing qualification and you feel you are still entitled to special class status you will need to apply directly to the NHS Pension scheme for this to be re-instated and provide the relevant job descriptions

Q. I submitted an application, but haven’t heard anything yet, what does this mean?

A. Once shortlisting has been completed for a vacancy, you will be notified as to the outcome via the email address associated to your account. This can take up to 6 – 8 weeks for Inspector roles where we receive a high volume of applications

Q. Can an Inspector role be undertaken as a secondment?

A. CQC do offer secondment opportunities – if you are interested in applying for the role as a secondment you should note this on your application form, and also ensure that you have the agreement of your current employer. If successful a secondment agreement will be set up between CQC and your substantive employer.

Q. What happens once an offer has been made - who will complete the pre-employment checks, reference requests etc?

A. Once an offer has been made and accepted, your details are then passed to our HR Services Team, who will contact you direct with regards to pre-employment checks, reference requests, contracts, start date etc

Q. Do you recognise NHS as continuous service for annual leave entitlement and other internal policies such as maternity?

A. Yes, we recognise continuous service from the NHS providing you do not have any breaks of service more than 28 days. Annual leave is 27 days for new starters, 29 days after 3 years continuous service and 32.5 days after 5 years continuous service.

Q. What office equipment do you provide for homeworkers?

CQC provides equipment for working safely at home, although a workstation does not need to be provided where, for example, an employee can work at their own desk/table (if it complies with certain criteria).

Inspectors are provided with laptops as standard, as well as a monitor, keyboard and mouse.  Any specialist equipment required can be discussed with your line manager.

As part of the home-based worker package, CQC provides a landline telephone with broadband connection to home workers. This includes a landline telephone and a network router which connects your computer to a broadband service.

Q. What other inspection roles do CQC employ, and is their opportunity for progression?

CQC employ Assistant Inspectors, (both through a graduate scheme and permanent), as well as other more specialist Inspectors in various disciplines eg Dental, Pharmacist etc. Inspection Managers are also employed to manage a team of Inspectors, and Heads of Inspection manage a region or patch.  There are other roles within Hospitals and ASC in particular that support the inspection function, eg report writing coaches, Quality roles and directorate administrative support.

In addtion CQC employ specialist advisors and bank inspectors on a non-permanent basis.  For details of non-permanent roles please contact