How care is regulated

Last updated: 8 November 2016

The Care Inspectorate is responsible for inspecting standards of care in Scotland.

What the Care Inspectorate does

It regulates and inspects care services to make sure they meet the right standards. It also work with providers to help them improve their service and make sure everyone gets safe, high quality care that meets their needs.

It also carries out joint inspections with other regulators to check how well organisations in local areas are working to support adults and children. It helps make sure that social work services, including criminal justice social work, meet high standards.

The Care Inspectorate publishes inspection reports for every care service in Scotland.

Care services aren't allowed to operate unless they're registered with the Care Inspectorate.

Who the Care Inspectorate regulates

It regulates around 14,000 individual care services. The main types are:

  • care homes for older people, adults and children
  • care at home
  • housing support
  • childminders
  • children's nurseries
  • playgroups and out-of-school clubs

The Care Inspectorate also regulates specialist services like:

  • day care
  • adoption and fostering agencies
  • childcare agencies
  • nurse agencies
  • school accommodation
  • secure accommodation
  • respite care

Hospitals and hospices are regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

National Care Standards

Care services have to provide quality care as set out in legislation and the National Care Standards. If services aren't meeting the right standards, the Care Inspectorate can make recommendations and take enforcement action.

The Scottish Government along with the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland are conducting a review of the National Care Standards to make sure that the needs of people who use the service are still being met.

Find a care service

See the Care Inspectorate's Care Service List for registered care services in your area.

The Care Inspectorate grades these services and publishes their reports – you can read a copy of each service's inspection reports and grades. This is updated weekly.

Complaints about care

The Care Inspectorate investigates complaints too, so if you're not happy about something and the care service hasn't been able to help resolve it, the Care Inspectorate may be able to. You don't have to give your name when making a complaint if you don't want to.

Find out more about complaining or giving feedback about care.

Further information