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  • 09 May 2019
  • 4 min read

What are the differences between a Home Manager, a General Manager and Registered Manager?

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These different managerial titles are often used interchangeably, however, there is a difference between them all and important to bear in mind during your job search.

The terms are used interchangeably, however, each title brings different responsibilities and are something to consider when applying for managerial roles.

What is the difference between a “General Manager” position and a “Home Manager”?

The "General Manager" title is used interchangeably with the titles of “Home Manager” and “Registered Home Manager”.

It is often used for larger care or nursing homes where more beds require greater levels of carers and housekeeping staff, due to the staffing ratios.

The management challenge of running a team of 30 people with 5-10 are on shift at any given time versus a team of 120, with 25 people on shift is quite different.

The first is very hands-on, the second requires a greater emphasis on organisational and planning skills, delegation, managing priorities, relationship building with a degree of hands-on working weaved in.

It also often requires a different type of mindset – this is loosely termed “leadership”.

It is an additional skill to that of manager, though the 2 can overlap.

The key quality of a leader is considered to be that people will follow them – follow their influence, direction, vision in some way.

Read more

• Should I work for an employer or through an agency as a home manager?

Should I look for jobs managing small care homes or large ones?

As well as being experts in their area, they also have an idea of where they want to take the service, some perception of where the service is now, and crucially, how to get there.

They usually have some influencing skills. A nurse that has balance management is also needed.

Effective leaders can usually communicate well (listen, absorb perspective and explain things clearly and tailor messages to the audience.)

These leaders are generally attuned to the heartbeat of the team, they aren’t led by the team but do listen to the team.

It is a subtle difference that requires confidence and a rounded / mature outlook.

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What is the difference between a “Home Manager” role and the “Registered Manager” position?

There is an important distinction and the overlap needs to be very clear;

A Home Manager position refers to the home manager responsibilities a person undertakes on behalf of an organisation as defined in their job description.

The organisation provides the brief, recruits the person to do it and holds them accountable to perform in the role in the manner they outline, with levels of governance and support.

There will also be expectations – some of which are explicit and explained and some of which are implicit, which are implied but not spoken.

Implicit expectations may be to perform the tasks similar to how the last manager or regional manager did it, for example.

Explicit expectations might be specific tasks to be done regularly or defined timeframes for completing time-sensitive tasks.

Examples of this could include responding to resident incidents (eg a fall) and updating a tracking system or responding to safeguarding incidents in a timely, appropriate manner.

This is the job holders responsibility to the organisation.

A registered manager position is where a home manager (there are exceptions) becomes the registered manager for the service.

This means that they apply to the CQC to become the legally accountable registered manager with the regulator, the Care Quality Commission.

There is a raft of legislation outlining what this means – it is a serious actual legal responsibility to undertake and comes with considerable personal responsibility for the home manager due to the wording of the law.

The CQC will determine if the applicant has the required skills, knowledge and understanding to fulfil these duties.

They verify this through an interview where the interviewee needs to demonstrate they understand the requirements of a registered manager and knows how to fulfil them with a working knowledge of the law, as applied to care homes.

So, a registered manager has a legal duty to the CQC to run the home in a way that is compliant with their regulations AND balance this with the organisational needs stated above to fulfil the needs of their contracted position.

The exceptions are where a deputy or a clinical lead or someone running another home in a group may take the registration for the service if their skills or experience are stronger or better suited.

About the author

Liam Palmer is the author of 3 books on raising quality standards in care homes through developing leadership skills. In Oct 2020, he published a guide to the Home Manager role called "So You Want To Be A Care Home Manager?". Liam has been fortunate to work as a Senior Manager across many healthcare brands including a private hospital, a retirement village and medium to large Care Homes in the private sector and 3rd sector. He hosts a podcast "Care Quality - meet the leaders and innovators”.

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