RIP to the PIR
Update March 2020: Time has moved on since the article below was written and the PIR (Provider Information Collection) was not actually phased out in the end. The piece still contains some interesting content, but for more up-to-date information on the PIR, what it entails and useful information on its completion, check out our recent three part blog series. Links below:
Part 2 – Provider Information Return Tips
Part 3 – Provider Information Return Info
Those in the social care sector will be familiar with the PIR – it stands for Provider Information Return, and it’s something that as part of your CQC registration, you need to take very seriously. However, soon it will be a thing of the past. Yes, move aside PIR, there’s a new sheriff in town. And this one’s called the PIC – this stands for Provider Information Collection.
During 2018 the Provider Information Collection (PIC) will be phased in, so be prepared for some changes ahead.
What sort of changes?
You may well ask.
The CQC are developing an online portal for you to engage with directly and load up your company’s compliance information in an ongoing way. The aim of this is to ultimately improve and streamline your dealings with the CQC. It will be easy to update and input fresh information at any time, so makes it very convenient for busy care providers and registered managers. It is expected/hoped that completion of the PIC will result in fewer inspection visits – wholly depending of course, on your satisfactory completion of it and the quality of the information collected. The more data you submit to the CQC regarding your operations, the better informed and updated they will be on your service.
How will it work?
You will receive an invitation from the CQC to join the system, and once you have accepted, from then on you will be required to update the information on your account on a yearly basis. However, you will be encouraged to update more frequently than this – the ideal is suggested as every three months.
So what do you have to do?
You aren’t required to do anything until you are contacted by the CQC to set up an account. Continue with the PIR for the moment. Don’t be tempted to let this slide because a new system is being introduced, it’s vital for you to diligently complete the PIR as normal. After all, it’s the only direct information the CQC have on your company – and remember, when you fill in the PIR, don’t hold back! Tell them all about how brilliant the service you provide is. Shout loudly about your achievements. Be careful to mention all the changes you have made for the better, any innovations should be highlighted, and improvements should be celebrated. Be honest, and make sure you can back up your claims with evidence.
Why the PIC is a good thing
The PIC represents a change for good. There are many benefits attached to this new way of monitoring:
1. You won’t receive detailed information requests to complete at the last minute before an inspection, you will be able to complete the details in advance in your own time, because the portal is continuously available to access. That’s sounds good, doesn’t it?
2. Because the information on the PIC is more up to date, it means inspectors have an accurate and current reflection of the service when they visit. Surely this will make for smoother, more efficient inspections all round?
3. Do you provide more than one type of service? If so, the PIC will simplify your life. There is only one form to complete, you simply select the questions relevant to the service type provided.
One very important detail to absorb, is that you must update your PIC annually (at the very minimum). Failure to do so will result in you being unable to satisfy the well-led key question, and you will receive a requires improvement rating at the next inspection. That should focus your mind. Try getting in to the habit of completing the PIC regularly like the CQC recommend – that way, you stay on top of information submission and you give a positive impression of the pro-active and compliance-conscious provider you are.