About Ed Watkinson

'My passion is improving the quality of social care for people that use services, and I want to share my vision of how you can do this alongside achieving the best CQC rating possible.' - Ed Watkinson

Ed Watkinson

'My passion is improving the quality of social care for people that use services, and I want to share my vision of how you can do this alongside achieving the best CQC rating possible.'

Ed Watkinson is the Director of Watkinson Consulting and has over 25 years’ experience of social care. He has been a care assistant, registered manager, area manager, care manager, commissioner, strategic lead for County Council, inspector, inspection methodology developer, policy writer, consultant advisor to CQC, internal regulator for large care home provider and Director of Care Quality for the biggest provider of compliance tools in the UK.

Ed made the decision to share his wide experience and knowledge, and give the opportunity for all care home providers to benefit from his understanding of what makes a great service.

You can find out more about Ed by looking at his LinkedIn profile and connecting with him.

1994 – 2022

Care Assistant

1994 – First job in care as a care assistant. This role gave me the understanding of what the delivery of high quality ‘hands on’ care means in practical terms and the challenges faced every day by carers.


1996 – Studied in my own time and achieved the qualifications needed for management of a registered care service. This made me appreciate the importance of learning, dedication and commitment if you want to make a success of anything in life.

Registered Manager

1997 – Registered Manager of care home for people with learning disabilities. Gave me the opportunity to develop and deliver ideas for how the service could be improved.

Area Manager

1999 – Area manager of for learning disability services. Helped me understand the pressures faced with running multiple services and the associated conflicting priorities.

Care Manager

2000 – Care Manager. This was a major shift into commissioning services and helped me fully appreciate the challenges experienced by the wider public in navigating the care system.

Regulatory Inspector

2002 – Regulatory Inspector. Working for the first national care regulator, this role was exciting, rewarding and challenging. It made me understand the importance of regulations in protecting vulnerable people.

Methodology Developer

2005 – Methodology Developer for CSCI. This role allowed me to be instrumental in influencing the regulatory framework on a national level. It also helped in understanding the need for negotiation, cooperation and providing evidence to support decisions.

Commissioning Manager

2008 – Senior Commissioning Manager for a local authority. Working at a ‘political’ level and influencing, preparing strategic documents and forward plans all helped with my ability to understand the dynamics of the delivery of large projects with sometimes challenging messages.

Regulation Manager

2011 – Regulation Manager for large care home provider. This role brought together all my experiences to understand what quality looks like in care services and effectively influencing others to ensure improvements were embedded and sustainable.

Consultant Advisor

2014 – Consultant Advisor with CQC. This role brought together my experience and knowledge from a multitude of disciplines and ensured that a fully holistic approach was used when leading on projects as part of the ‘new’ inspection methodology.

Director of Care Quality

2015 – Director of Care Quality. This enabled me to build on my previous practical experience and knowledge to lead a team developing high quality policies, tools and guidance that are being used successfully by a wide range of services registered with CQC.

Founded Watkinson Consulting

2018 – Watkinson Consulting is focused on assisting care homes registered with CQC in improving the quality of the care and support they provide, with the ultimate objective of increasing the likelihood of receiving an ‘Outstanding’ rating at the next inspection. We can achieve this by working together, identifying where improvements are needed and developing solutions that are realistic, simple and sustainable.


Member of the Board of Trustees assisting with setting strategic direction and supporting the continuing work of NAPA (National Activity Providers Association).

  • Public speaker – presented at numerous high-profile events such as Care Roadshow, Health Plus Care, Registered Manager Networks, National Care Association
  • Published writer – written articles on subjects such as CQC changes, outstanding ratings, leadership etc. These articles have been published in industry magazines such as Care Management Matters, Care Home Environment and Expert Care Manager
  • Inspector and auditor – over 10 years’ experience of inspection and auditing
  • Presenter – skilled in producing powerpoint presentations that are clear, easily understood and deliver the required messages
  • Talent manager – successfully managed numerous staff in a variety of settings
  • Trainer – experienced in developing training materials and the delivery of training in a variety of setting, most notably trained over 500 CQC inspectors on the use of the current inspection methodology
  • Project manager – overseen numerous projects including the commissioning extra care services, delivery of housing and care strategies and the self-assessment process for services registered with CSCI
  • Policy developer – numerous policies developed and delivered that are currently being used by over 3,000 care services
  • Report writer – very experienced in report writing including a wide range of regulatory inspection reports, root cause analysis (RCA)board papers and strategy documents
  • Root cause analysis (RCA) report writer – experienced in undertaking detailed analysis of why systemic problems have occurred, and developed actions plans to ensure the issues are resolved
  • Webinar producer – have successfully prepared and delivered webinars and other interactive information sharing modules
  • Influencer and negotiator – skilled in influencing decisions and negotiating the best results possible form situations through understanding the conflicting priorities and focusing on the desired results
  • Improvement identifier – understand when improvement is needed to reflect best practice and meet regulatory requirements
  • Action plan developer – creative in developing action plans when improvements identified in audits, inspections or reports
  • Horizon scanner – I am well connected in social care and am fully aware of upcoming changes that will affect care services
  • Engager and includer – skilled in engaging people in processes, and am a believer that end products are better if co-produced
  • Developer of ideas – I am creative and am focused on developing new ways of working to demonstrate an innovative approach
  • Evidence producer – looking at information in a new way to get best value, and ensuring that the supporting evidence is well structured and accessible when needed
  • Windsurfer – freely admit that this is a work in progress with a long term objective of being able to keep up with other windsurfers in Portland harbour
  • Dog walker – gained in last 3 years walking / keeping up with Miller our lively English Springer Spaniel around the Dorset coast
  • Sea fisher – again a work in progress and still on the hunt for that elusive bass off Portland Bill