Adult social care peer challenges

We work with partners to deliver a programme for sector-led support in adult services.


The Local Government Association (LGA) offers Adult Social Care Peer Challenges to support councils to deliver the best services for their residents. This is primarily done through Preparation for Assurance Peer Challenges; however, the offer is flexible to meet the individual needs of each council.

Preparation for Assurance Peer Challenges

Adult Social Care Preparation for Assurance Peer Challenges support councils to deliver the best services for their residents and in turn prepare for Care Quality Commission (CQC) Assurance assessments.

A peer challenge is a tried and trusted method of improvement; it provides councils with a robust and effective improvement tool which is owned and delivered by the sector, for the sector. Peers remain at the heart of the peer challenge process and are invited into councils as a ‘critical friend’ who take a ‘no surprises’ approach.  

The four high-level themes for Adult Social Care Preparation for Assurance Peer Challenges have been adopted from the domains underpinning the CQC Assurance assessment framework:

  • working with people
  • providing support
  • ensuring safety
  • leadership.

The peer challenge also considers the context in which councils are operating.  

Adult Social Care Preparation for Assurance Peer Challenges consist of a three-day onsite process with eight peers offering their feedback on a council’s ability to deliver the best services for people and consequently prepare for assessment from the regulator. There are numerous evidence gathering activities before the peer team arrive onsite. These include: 

  • analysis and comment on the council self-assessment and related documentation. 
  • a case file audit and analysis. 
  • lived experience interviews. 
  • informal and exploratory conversations between the peer team and adult social care departmental leaders.

The peer team offer their feedback presentation on the last day of the onsite work. A more detailed report follows the culmination of the challenge.

Evaluation feedback from both councils and peers that have participated in peer challenges report that this is a unique opportunity to reflect on how adult social care services are delivered as well as to learn from others, particularly through the many informal conversations that occur between colleagues. 

A key focus is to support councils to prepare for the arrival of the regulator. 

The cost of the peer challenge is £20,000 (plus expenses).

If you would like to discuss the Adult Social Care Preparation for Assurance Peer Challenge offer further, please email [email protected]

If you are an experienced Adult Social Care Professional who is interested in being part of a Peer Team, please complete this Expression of Interest Form, or email Pippa McHaffie on [email protected].