Frequently Asked Questions
What is the CAP Award Programme?

The Continuous Advancement Programme (CAP) enables catering and housekeeping departments to assess their strengths and weaknesses whilst controlling costs. CAP provides your catering and housekeeping departments with vital support in cementing a reputation for quality of service. But the best news is that the CAP programme puts quality systems and financial controls in place as well as identifying best practice – all for a fixed cost.

Why join the CAP Award Programme?

In short, the CAP Programme can help to improve quality and reduce costs.

What are the benefits of the CAP Award Programme in connection with the Regulators e.g. CQC within Healthcare?

The benefits of being a member of the CAP (Continuous Assessment Programme) Award scheme are recognised by the Care Quality Commission. After an in depth assessment of the CAP Award scheme CQC has recognised its merits and in recognition of this has announced that they will allow the CAP Award to submit CAP information relating to Members of the CAP Award scheme in to the Quality and Risk Profile (QRP) that CQC holds for each registered provider. This means that CAP Award holders are able to reduce their ‘risk of non-compliance’ with CQC.

How does the CAP Award Programme link into CQC’s assessment of a site?

‘Where available, information provided by the Continuous Advancement Programme (the CAP Award) to CQC will be included in the Quality and Risk Profile that CQC holds for each registered provider. Quality and Risk Profiles are used by CQC staff to identify potential areas of compliance and non-compliance with meeting the essential standards so that they can target frontline regulatory activity accordingly’.

Intelligence Directorate, The Care Quality Commission, 103-105 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TG – April 2011

The CQC Quality and Risk Profile (QRP) is a tool that gathers all CQC knows about a provider in one place. CQC states that it enables it to assess where risks lie and prompt front line regulatory activity, such as inspection. The CAP Award scheme allows you to add positively to your QRP whilst demonstrating clearly that these areas are adding significantly to your service user experiences.

How can the CAP Award improve quality?

1. The quality standards of the CAP AwardTM Programme are high so the departments will be encouraged to perform to these standards in order to achieve the recognition of the Award.

2. The department will be encouraged and guided to improve quality standards by the provision of an individual, practical Action Plan.

3. The recognition and support given to staff by the CAP AwardTM programme can directly influence the quality of their service delivery.

How can the CAP Award reduce costs?

1. The improvement in quality that can be achieved through joining the programme will help to reduce the risk of customer complaints thus saving both time and money investigating them.

2. The Action Plan will highlight areas where savings can be made.

3. Motivated staff are less likely to leave so the cost of turnover can be reduced.

4. The actual usage of food, beverages, cleaning materials and disposable products is measured against benchmark with corrective actions being suggested for any over-usage.

What are the Staff re-actions to the CAP?

Whilst naturally tentative about any audit, the feedback has been excellent. The staff have appreciated the ‘hands-on’ nature of the CAP Award scheme and assessor’s close involvement with the actual service being delivered during the visits. The staff have seen the Award as genuinely being ‘theirs’ and have in turn been inspired to aim to achieve a higher award rating at the next visit.

Who can join the CAP Programme?

All Catering and Housekeeping (Cleaning) Departments that strive for recognition of their excellence.

What Awards does the CAP offer for Catering & Housekeeping Services?

Bronze – Awarded as a result of good operating standards being delivered as observed and measured during the announced visit. Bronze means that the service is operating at above the basic ‘best practice’ standards for that specific discipline.

Silver– The Silver Award as assessed during the announced visit is awarded for service delivery that exceeds the ‘best practice’ and regulatory criteria. It rewards the department for excellence and ‘going that extra mile’ including service quality, administration, financials and ‘value for money’

Gold – The Gold Award can only be achieved via an unannounced visit. This award rewards the consistent delivery of a high standard of service with excellent supporting operational practices.

What’s happens next?

Once you enrol on the Programme an experienced assessor will arrange to visit the department. The Assessor will spend the day on site and will measure the actual service delivery of a department against recognised standards of service delivery, operational best practices, regulatory bodies and legal obligations.

CAP adheres to the guidelines of regulators such as CQC (Care Quality Commission), OFSTED, ISI, BICSc (British Institute for Cleaning Science), Clean Hospital Programme, Food for Hospitals and the Food Safety Act.

Is it just an audit?

No. The CAP Award Programme is designed to recognise achievement and to motivate and support teams to improve standards. The assessors have hands on experience of the services provided and will provide operational and realistic Action Plans to help the team achieve success.

What happens if we don’t meet the criteria to achieve a CAP Award?

You will still benefit from the CAP AwardTM Programme if your department falls short of the required standards.

You will be provided with:
• A detailed Action Plan to help you to work towards the required standard.
• Access to free office support for 12 months.

Not only will this increase the likelihood of achieving a CAP AwardTM next time but it will assist you to comply and prepare for mandatory external audits as well as motivating and supporting the team. Importantly, the adoption of the Action Plan will be seen as progressive management of the services

What happens when we are awarded a CAP?

You will receive:
• A complete comprehensive CAP Award Report – including a full breakdown of the scores achieved and an action.
points to help you to further develop the service.
• A framed certificate with your CAP Award.
• A 3D personalised CAP Award plaque.

What’s the lifetime of the Cap Award?

Whilst the Award will be yours to proudly display for as long as you wish, your individual programme will operate for one year. The Award Plaque will be engraved with the year of attainment.

How many CAP Awards can we have?

We currently offer a CAP Award programme for: Catering and Housekeeping (Cleaning)

How do we join the programme?

Contact us to let us you know you are interested and we will get you started on the programme. E-mail: – Telephone: +44 (0)1858 540 200

How much will it cost?

The cost of the Award Programmes is £1,200.00 + VAT for each of Catering and Housekeeping plus VAT. For healthcare sites with fewer than forty registered beds, a combination Award of Catering and Housekeeping is offered at £1,200.00 + VAT. This investment includes:

• A comprehensive site visit by an experienced operator in the relevant discipline
• A detailed Continuous Advancement Action Plan
• A 3d personalised CAP AwardTM Plaque for you to display with pride
• Access to 12 month’s office based support with up-dates, useful ‘tools of the trade’, benchmarks and operationally based advice for the award holder.

In summary, what are seen as the main benefits for a healthcare client?

The CAP Award delivers: –

Staffing Benefits – With the CAP Award being focused on the actual service delivery i.e. standard of cleanliness, the patient food, adherence to HACCP, the departmental staff have a real and very close affinity with the programme. Their motivation becomes the achievement of the highest Award – Gold and then retention of this standing.

CQC – The CAP Award allows the support services departments to input directly into the betterment of the site’s standing with CQC. This is unique to the CAP Award for Catering and Housekeeping.

Progression – Each Report contains a recommended Action Plan for the progression of the relevant service. Incorporating the Plan into the department’s annual appraisal programme, the continuous development of the service becomes measured and assured.

Benchmarking – The CAP Award ensures that your service is benchmarked against the industry qualitative and financial standards plus legal requirements and provided suggestions for corrective action including ‘tools of trade’ to help achieve the desired outcome.

On-Going Support – The nature of the CAP Award programme is aimed at the continuous advancement of your service. To assist in this delivery, support is available from the CAP team for term of the Award.

On the feedback form from a recent CAP Visit, the Operations Manager commented that she ‘was very impressed and inspired by the programme’ with an East Midland’s Client adding ‘an excellent tool to enable expert and impartial identification of strengths and weaknesses, providing clear guidance on areas for improvement’.

A CEO commented “Having seen the staff nervously waiting for the day of the assessment, the sense of achievement, purpose and ambition the resulting Award gave them was fantastic. They are ‘going for GOLD’ as they keep reminding me!”