The Care Inspectorate is a scrutiny body which supports improvement. That means we look at the quality of care in Scotland to ensure it meets high standards. Where we find that improvement is needed, we support services to make positive changes.

Our vision is that everyone experiences safe, high-quality care that meets their needs, rights and choices.

Our 600 staff work across Scotland, specialising in health and social care, early learning and childcare, social work, children’s services, and community justice.

Find an office near you.

Meet our Board and our senior leadership team.

We inspect individual care services

We register more than 11,000 registered care services in Scotland and our inspectors visit every one. Higher-risk services are inspected more often. Our inspectors talk to people using the service, staff and managers. We want to make sure that people experience high-quality care, and that care services are making a positive impact on people’s lives, based on their needs, rights and choices.

We give care services grades when we inspect them, and look at key areas like care and support, physical environment, quality of staffing, and quality of management and leadership. Each area of each care service is assessed on a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 in unsatisfactory and 6 is excellent. After every inspection, we publish an inspection report showing our findings, which is helpful if you are using service or thinking of doing so.

We inspect how care is provided across areas

We work with other scrutiny and improvement bodies to look at how local authorities, community planning partnerships and health and social care partnerships are delivering a range of services in their communities across Scotland. These inspections look at how well services are working together to support positive experiences and outcomes for people. This helps partnerships understand what is working well, and what needs to improve. You can read our joint inspection reports here.

Supporting improvement and driving up standards

Our job is not just to inspect care, but help the quality improve where needed. This means we work with services and support them, offering advice, guidance and sharing good practice to help care reach the highest standards. You can find lots of advice for care professionals on our dedicated website, The Hub.

We want everyone to experience high-quality care that meets their individual needs. Scotland’s Health and Social Care Standards describe what people should expect from care. The Standards are what we refer to when we are assessing how well care is performing.

What if things are not good enough?

If we find that care isn’t good enough, we take action. We can make recommendations for improvement and issue requirements for change and check these have happened. If a care service doesn’t improve, we can carry out enforcement action including, as a last resort, closing it down subject to the decision of a sheriff.

If you think a care service isn’t good enough you can share your concern or make a complaint to us. Find out more about concerns and complaints here.

The Scottish Regulators’ Strategic Code of Practice

The Care Inspectorate is required by the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 to follow the Scottish Regulators’ Strategic Code. The Code is issued by the Scottish Ministers and sets out the approaches we should take in dealing with those we regulate. We comply with the requirements of the Code in all that we do, ensuring that we always prioritise the safety, health and wellbeing of vulnerable people over commercial or business interests. 

Care services in Scotland must be registered with the Care Inspectorate and a broad range of the individuals who work in those services must be registered with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).  You can find more information about the SSSC on their website