Accessibility statement for

Page last updated: 24 July 2023

This website is run by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.

For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • most PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software or people who need to change font sizes and colours
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, email:

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our London offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out how to contact us

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

CQC is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) AA standard. The non-accessible sections are listed below.

Non-accessible Content - non compliance with regulations

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons:

Word documents as forms

We use Word documents for providers and managers to submit applications and notifications. These do not fully meet accessibility standards. They may not be fully accessible to screen reader software. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role, value).

The documents are essential to providing our services. You may need to print the documents to read them or fill them in.

We’re working to produce accessible versions of these documents.

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.

Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. We’re working to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.

New PDFs or Word documents we publish will aim to meet accessibility standards.

Our inspection reports are published in PDF through an automated system. We’re working to replace this system with one that will produce accessible versions of those reports.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We launched a new version of our website in May 2022. The website meets the WCAG 2.1 AA standard, but some documents and forms hosted on the website do not.

We are creating new digital services to replace forms published as Word documents, PDFs and older interactive forms. Our aim is for these services to be fully compliant with the WCAG 2.1 AA standard. We will start launching these new services in summer 2023.

We are designing new ways to publish our inspection reports as HTML, replacing the current PDF documents. We will publish the first of these new assessment reports at the end of 2023.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 12 May 2022 following a substantial revision of the website. The statement was prepared following an external audit carried out by the Digital Accessibility Centre.

This statement was last reviewed on 25 May 2023.

This statement was updated on 24 July 2023 to clarify the date for the initial preparation and review of the statement.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested in May 2023. We carried out our own testing, building on an external audit of our website carried out in May 2022.

We selected a sample of pages for each of our content types and UI components:

We used online webpage checkers and cross referenced these against the Digital Accessibility Centre's external audit of our website, carried out in May 2022. The tools we use for our internal audits include: