Received a PIR CQC invitation? 5 things you should know

4th August 2022

What the PIR CQC form means for registered businesses & how to complete it

The PIR CQC form refers to a Provider Information Return. It’s issued to registered managers annually by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to make sure they’re aware of:

  • Any changes your organisation has made
  • How you are making sure the service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

In this blog, we will:

  • Explain the timeline from receiving the PIR CQC form to submitting your response.
  • Detail what you should do if your registered manager has changed
  • Explain how the questions are divided by service
  • Advise how long the form could take to complete
  • List a few questions you’re likely to be asked
  • Offer a solution for support to complete your form.
  1. When should you receive your PIR CQC form and what’s the deadline? 

If you are the registered manager of a CQC registered business, you will receive an invitation to complete a PIR. This invitation will be sent annually, during the anniversary month of your first CQC inspection. Once you receive the invitation, you will have four weeks to complete and submit the PIR form.

If you miss the four-week deadline, you run the risk of your well-led rating being limited to ‘requires improvement’.

That being said, the CQC does allow you to contact them if you need more time to respond.

  1. What if your registered manager has changed since last year?

If the registered manager in your organisation has changed, you will receive a link to update their details. It’s worth bearing in mind that the new manager will not be given extra time to complete the form. The quicker you update their details, the more time they will have to complete the PIR form. There is also a statutory notification form to complete that tells the CQC about the new manager.

  1. How are the questions divided?

The questions will vary depending on the services your organisation provides. Service types are broken down into four categories:

  • Residential
  • Community
  • Shared lives
  • Specialist.

To help you prepare your responses, you can find the questions by service type on the CQC website.

  1. How long does the PIR CQC form take to complete?

Depending on the services you provide and your in-house writing capabilities, the resources required will vary. The questions require a mixture of yes/no and 500-word responses (about a page of A4 each). Consider this when planning how you will use your time to write your answers. You don’t want to suddenly realise that you need to produce 8,500 words in one day!

  1. What are you likely to be asked?

The questions will change depending on your service category, but there are a few similarities. You should expect to be asked for the following information:

  • Location – location number, name, address, provider number (or organisation number), provider name and organisation type.
  • Respondent – your name, phone number, email address and website address.
  • Details about your successes and barriers to good care.
  • Information about people who use your services – this is an extensive and detailed section.
  • Information regarding the services you provide, your staff and carers, commissioners, quality assurance and risk management.

While most questions are limited to 500-word responses, the inspector will contact you if they require more information.


So, to summarise, you can expect to receive a PIR form on the anniversary of your first CQC inspection.

Failing to return the completed form within four weeks could result in your well-led rating dropping to ‘requires improvement’. So it’s not worth the risk!

Has your registered manager has changed since last year or since your initial inspection (if this is your first PIR)? You will need to complete another form that gives their details to the CQC. The new manager will not be given extra time, they will still have four weeks to complete the PIR. They can’t receive the PIR form link until the additional form has been received by the CQC.

Before scheduling in your time to write the responses, take a look at the questions you have been sent. They could require 8,000+ words as many of the questions ask for 500-word responses. Don’t give yourself a few hours to produce your answers and risk the consequences.

Some of the questions will only require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. However, it’s still important to check how long your registered manager will need to complete high-quality answers.

The questions you will be asked will vary depending on the services your company provides. However, there are a few recurring questions you should be prepared for (we have listed these above).

Need help with writing your PIR CQC responses?

We understand that writing 8,000+ words can drain resources and you may not even have that resource in-house.

If you need support with writing your PIR CQC form responses, our writers are here to help. They have extensive experience in the healthcare industry, having worked with over 90 healthcare businesses.

Our writers work with you to blend your technical knowledge with their exceptional writing skills. This enhances the quality of your responses whilst alleviating the pressure on your team to produce this lengthy content.

To get a free quote simply send us your PIR form invitation link. Our consultants will take a look at the questions and provide a quote for writing the 500-word responses.

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Find more helpful tendering tips and advice in our blogs. We cover topics including:   

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