The Guidelines have no legal status and are not enforceable.

The CQC Regulations and the CQC Guidance are two completely separate things.

The Regulations are the legal requirements as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010. This is what you must follow.

The Guidelines, which contain the "28 Outcomes", are commonly mistaken for the regulations itself. These guidelines are exactly what the title says, just guidelines issued by the CQC to help you along as to the sort of issues you should be looking at to achieve compliance.

This is stated very clearly in the Guidelines right at the beginning on page 9 :

The legal status of the guidance for providers:
"Although we must take it into account when making decisions about a provider’s compliance with the regulations and in tribunals and courts, the guidance is not enforceable in its own right."

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