How the Code works

The Driving Up Quality Code outlines good fundamental practices and behaviour that organisations that support people with learning disabilities need to be committed to. Signing up to the Code is a public commitment from organisations that they believe in these good practices and are achieving or actively working towards them. Signing up to the Code is also a commitment from organisations to be transparent about how they operate.

What the Code isn't

The Code is not intended as a quality measurement tool or to replace other codes and frameworks, but is a process that can enable organisations to think more deeply about what they are trying to achieve and how their behaviour impacts on this.

Features of the Code

Sign up ...

The Code is voluntary. Providers will be asked by umbrella organisations to sign up publicly to the Code and evidence how they meet, or are working towards meeting, the Code. For some membership organisations, this will be a requirement of membership. Visit the Sign up page.

Self Assessment

Providers will be encouraged to carry out a self- assessment and report how they are working towards meeting the code. Visit the Self assessment page.

Independent Verification

Providers will also be encouraged to use Experts by Experience and/or other mechanisms to independently verify self assessments.

Commissioner Sign Up

Commissioners will be asked to sign up to the Code and commit to actively using the Code through their commissioning processes to improve quality in learning disability services. Visit the Commissioner sign up page.

Being Transparent

Information about who has signed up to the Code and how organisations are working towards meeting the Code is publicly available.

Being Accountable

Service users, families, staff, commissioners and members of the public will be invited to challenge any provider self- assessment if their experience of the service differs from what the provider has stated.


The code is complementary with:

Challenging Behaviour Charter
The Challenging Behaviour Charter was developed by the Challenging Behaviour National Strategy Group to encourage organisations to sign up and make a public commitment to it's principles. The Charter says that people with learning disabilities who challenge, and their families, should have access to the same rights, opportunities and support as everyone else. The Challenging Behaviour Charter has a focus on the rights of the individual while the Driving Up Quality Code has a focus on how organisations should behave so that the people they support have their rights and needs met.

Making it Real markers towards personalisation
Making it Real is marking progress towards personalised, community based support. Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) is the sector wide commitment to transform adult social care through personalisation and community-based support.

Making it Real is a citizen-led programme that checks how organisations are going with making their services personalised, based on what people who use those services say they want.

TLAP welcomes the Driving Up Quality Code for Learning Disability Services. TLAP will be working closely with the Housing & Support Alliance and the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme to ensure the maximum alignment with Making it Real.


Care Quality Commission National Minimum Standards
The Driving Up Quality Alliance and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are working together to identify how CQC can assess whether providers are signed up to the code and are demonstrably implementing it.

CQC are moving away from a compliance based model of regulation.  To get to the heart of people’s experience of care and support they are going to ask a new set of 5 questions. These questions are about the quality of services, based on the things that matter to people. They will ask the following five questions of every service:

•             Is it safe?

•             Is it effective?

•             Is it caring?

•             Is it responsive to people’s needs?

•             Is it well-led?


These questions are a really good ‘fit’ with the 5 areas of the Driving Up Quality Code and will enhance the process through which the provider organisation and regulator can understand  how effectively the organisation operates.

NHS Choices Provider Quality Profiles
NHS Choices and the Driving Up Quality Alliance are working together to define how the Driving Up Quality Code will relate to Provider Quality Profiles.

The Social Care Commitment

The Social Care Commitment is a voluntary agreement about workforce quality between all parts of the adult social care sector in England that has been developed by Skills for Care as part of the response to Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the general public are confident that they/their families will always be supported by skilled people who treat them with dignity and respect.

Employers and employees will be asked to sign-up to 7 statements that describe their commitments to ensuring workforce quality.The 7 statements totally align with the principles of the Driving Up Quality Code and in particular with area 3 Care and support focuses on people being happy and having a good quality of life.