Too much "awful care" is happening in care homes in England, the chief inspector of adult social care at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told the BBC.
The standard of care in homes in England is "not good enough at the moment", Andrea Sutcliffe admitted.
CQC publishes new plans for how it will regulate, inspect and rate care homes on Thursday.
Ms Sutcliffe said CQC's reputation was improving.
The commission has faced severe criticism after a series of abuse scandals in residential homes.
On Thursday, Ms Sutcliffe will announce a new rating system for care homes, which will be ranked in the same way Ofsted judges schools.
They will be graded as either outstanding, good, requiring improvement or inadequate.
But Ms Sutcliffe said the level of care in England could be better.
"It's not good enough at the moment," she told BBC Breakfast.
"There is too much awful care that is actually happening and calling time on poor care is something that we have got to do."
But she said CQC's standing was improving.
"I'd say that the reputation of the CQC as we are speaking now in 2014 is improving," she said. "What we have recognised is that some of the ways we have been working needed to absolutely improve."