FAQs about buying and selling a dental practice 

Questions and answers from our experienced practice support experts. 


Why is it so key to consider the CQC registration when purchasing a practice?

To provide primary dental care services in England without registration is an offence, and there are further penalties inherent in the legislation.

In our experience, not completing the CQC registration at the right time  is one of the most common causes of issues.

At what point in the process of purchasing the practice would you recommend starting the CQC application?

At least 12 weeks prior to sale completion…it can take up to 12 weeks to achieve a new registration.

  • Enhance DBS checks that need to be countersigned by the CQC and this can take weeks to compile all the information and up to 4 weeks for CQC to countersign
  • Filling out the forms can take a full working day
  • 4-6 weeks for the CQC to process the paperwork and for the registration inspector to request further information to support your application
  • “Suitable person” interview
  • Site visit

What is the starting point for registration?

DBS checks, counter-signed by the CQC

  • Must have been obtained before you can submit your application
  • You might have another DBS number from a previous job, but it's important to remember that a CQC-countersigned DBS number is different
  • Compiling the information for DBS checks can take several weeks to organise

Who needs to complete the DBS check?

  • Post Office’s “CQC Disclosure” web page where you must register and provide some basic information. You will subsequently receive, via e-mail, a username and password. Using these you can then log back in via the Post Office page and complete the full DBS application form along with ID details of your passport and/or driving licence. 
  • You can also then print off a “referral letter” which you must take in person, along with your ID documents and the necessary fees (currently £17.50 for the Post Office verification procedure and £61.50 for the DBS check). You’ll have to pay by card or cash, as cheques aren’t accepted.
  • You can find a list of Post Offices which offer the CQC DBS service on the Post Office website: remember to put in the filter to only show only the right branch addresses which offer this service!
  • After about 4-6 weeks (it can be sooner) you’ll receive your disclosure document. DON’T send this to CQC, they will only need the Disclosure Number which you’ll fill in on your CQC Application for Registration form.