Expecting the inspection

Let’s face it- inspection time is extremely stressful! No matter how much you have prepared or how long you have been in the “industry” when an inspector shows up to your community it can be a nerve-wracking experience. In the state of California the CCLD can show up anytime they see fit to conduct an inspection of every nook and cranny of the facility. Be prepared, be cordial and be open with inspectors and you will certainly have a much better experience.


(a) Any duly authorized officer, employee or agent of the licensing agency may, upon proper identification and upon stating the purpose of his/her visit, enter and inspect the entire premises of any place providing services at any time, with or without advance notice.

(b) The licensee shall ensure that provisions are made for private interviews with any resident or any staff member; and for the examination of all records relating to the operation of the facility.

(c) The licensing agency shall have the authority to inspect, audit, and copy resident or facility records upon demand during normal business hours. Records may be removed if necessary for copying. Removal of records shall be subject to the requirements in Sections 87412(f), 87506(d), and 87508(b).

(d) The licensing agency shall have the inspection authority specified in Health and Safety Code Sections 1569.24, 1569.32, 1569.33 and 1569.35.

Health and Safety Code section 1569.24 provides in part:

Within 90 days …after a facility accepts its first resident for placement following its initial licensure, the department shall inspect the facility to evaluate compliance with rules and regulations and to assess the facility’s continuing ability to meet regulatory requirements. The licensee shall notify the department, within five business days after accepting its first resident for placement, that the facility has commenced operating.

Health and Safety Code section 1569.32 provides:

“Any duly authorized officer, employee, or agent of the department may, upon presentation of proper identification, enter and inspect any place providing personal care, supervision, and services at any time, with or without advance notice, to secure compliance with, or to prevent a violation of, this chapter.” Health and Safety Code section 1569.33 provides in part: ”

(a) Every licensed residential care facility for the elderly shall be subject to unannounced visits by the department. The department shall visit these facilities as often as necessary to ensure the quality of care provided.

(b) The department shall conduct an annual unannounced visit of a facility under any of the following circumstances:

(1) When a license is on probation.

(2) When the terms of agreement in a facility compliance plan require an annual evaluation.

(3) When an accusation against a licensee is pending.

(4) When a facility requires an annual visit as a condition of receiving federal financial participation.

(5) In order to verify that a person who has been ordered out of the facility for the elderly by the department is no longer at the facility.

(c) The department shall conduct annual unannounced visits to no less than 20 percent of facilities not subject to an evaluation under subdivision (b)… …

(d) Under no circumstance shall the department visit a residential care facility for the elderly less often than once every five years.”

Health and Safety Code section 1569.35(c) provides in part: “(c) Upon receipt of a complaint, …the department shall make a preliminary review and…an onsite inspection within 10 days after receiving the complaint except where the visit would adversely affect the licensing investigation or the investigation of other agencies, including, but not limited to, law enforcement agencies…”

Pro Tip:

  • Work with the surveyor and their teams needs
  • Be professional and try to develop a rapport with the surveyor
  • Be honest
  • Use their feedback to make needed changes to your facility

Remember, they are not here to hurt your facility. They are there to make sure we as operators are doing all we can do to ensure residents are being cared for in the best way possible.