The Care Quality Commission will likely agree a successor to Sir Mike Richards in early June, a “confidential” document seen by HSJ reveals.

The job description document, by a recruitment consultant firm hired by the CQC to recruit to the role of chief inspector of hospitals, said applications will close next Friday. Final interviews will then be held on 31 May.

Despite the general election on 8 June “recruitment to the chief inspector role is proceeding as planned”, a spokesman from the CQC told HSJ.

Prior to the final interview, shortlisted applicants can expect to go through “stakeholder engagement [and] media assessments”, though no further detail was given on what these would involve. The document also said the selection panel is “likely to comprise of at least” CQC chief executive Sir David Behan and chair Peter Wyman.

The successor to Sir Mike will also require the support of the health secretary.

HSJ has previously reported that the regulator is looking for a “highly influential” clinician or board executive with “political acumen” to replace Sir Mike. The CQC will pay the new chief inspector of hospitals between £161,000 and £191,000 a year.

Sir Mike announced in January that he will be retiring this summer after four years as chief inspector. No date has been set for his departure.