Plans for how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will regulate and inspect care homes have been confirmed for the first time.
The CQC has created 'handbooks' to help providers understand how they will be assessed and rated from now on.
Specialist teams will inspect services unannounced on whether they are safe, caring, effective, responsive to patient needs and well-led.
Care homes and community adult social care services in England will then be rated as Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.
Separate handbooks have been published for regulation of residential adult care with and without nursing and another for regulation of community adult social care, including care for people in their own home.
Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb said: "This marks a turning point for the way we care for people in this country. Gone is the tick-box exercise for inspecting care homes and home care – now we are listening to the views of the people who rely on these services and have tougher checks to make sure they are getting safe, compassionate care from staff who are supported by good managers.
"And at the end of it the service will be given a rating that’s easy to understand, so families will know if it is up to scratch. All this will support the wider work we are doing to stamp out poor care and build a fairer society."
Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission said: "The handbooks mark an important milestone for CQC and the adult social care services that we regulate.
"We have developed our regulatory model with people who use services, care providers, commissioners, national partners and our staff. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time and effort to respond during our consultation, participate in our various events, and work with us during our test inspections to help us to develop our strengthened approach.
"Our new regulatory model has people right at its heart. We will ask the questions that matter most to people who use services, listen to their views, take action to protect them, and provide them with clear, reliable and accessible information about the quality of their services.
"The detail in the handbooks is about making the Mum Test real. On their visits, I will ask our inspection teams to consider whether these are services that they would be happy for someone they love and care for to use. If they are, then we will celebrate this through our ratings. If they are not, we will take tough action so that improvements are made. Above all else, my priority is to make sure people receive care that is safe, effective, high-quality and compassionate."