Message from the registration team - 2 February 2024

The Care Inspectorate aims to provide the highest quality and efficient service to providers or new applicants of care services through the registration and variation functions. We do this to enable care and support being available to people and communities. Currently the registration teams are experiencing an increased volume of registration and variation applications from across the care sector but particularly in adult care services. We are systematically working through the applications and undertaking routine checks where we can and allocating these to inspectors as soon as inspector capacity is available.

We appreciate that once you have submitted an application you will be keen to have your application progressed. Please be assured we will progress your application to an inspector as soon as we are able to do so. When you have submitted an application and we have not been able to allocate to an inspector we will contact you fortnightly to update you on the situation. Please be assured we will process your application as soon as we can.

Thank you for your understanding and patience with this during this challenging period.

If you want to operate a care service in Scotland you must, by law, register with the Care Inspectorate. 

What to expect from the registration process

You can apply to register a care service online, using our secure system.  The online application is simple to complete and only asks you questions that are relevant to your service type.

You can manage your application easily.  You can save it as you go and return to it later so you can complete and submit at your own pace.  You can go back to previous stages to check, change and add to your application.  The application allows you to upload supporting documents and pay your application fee.

We aim to assess applications for a childminding service within three months and all other services within six months.  However, this presumes that you supply us with a competent and fully detailed application, as well as any additional information we request.  It is in your interest to give us all the information we ask for in the application form to prevent any delays or the risk of us closing or refusing your application.

Once you have submitted your application, our national registration team will check:

  • the information you have given us
  • whether the provider is fit to provide the service
  • whether the manager is fit to manage the service
  • that the proposed premises are fit to be used for that purpose
  • that the service will make all the proper provisions for the health, welfare, independence, choice, privacy and dignity of everyone using the service.

We may also check the financial viability of the service.  Any information we ask for during the registration process is in accordance with the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

Before applying to register a service

Before you apply to register a care service you must make sure you have read and understood the associated guidance and legislation.  

Every registered care service must continuously meet the requirements of:

Before you apply, you should also read:

For more information read our guidance below:

For more information about registering a service (other than childminding) click here

For more information about registering a childminding service click here.

If you are unclear about the kind of service you want to apply for, click here to see the definitions of care services which must be registered with us.

For general advice about registering a care service you can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more specific queries, you can request pre-application advice.  Click here for guidance on how to do this.

Registered manager requirements

In response to feedback from services, the Care Inspectorate and the SSSC have amended the policy and guidance on the qualification requirements for managers of registered services.  New managers applying to become the Registered Manager with the Care Inspectorate are required to already hold a level 7 practitioner qualification.  This replaces the guidance issued in April this year that new managers must hold a level 9 manager qualification. 

Please note, the SSSC registration requirements remain unchanged.

Access the latest guidance here.


Care services must pay fees to be registered with us.  The maximum limit is set by Scottish Ministers.  The fees we collect contribute to our operating costs.  We charge a fee for registering a new service and an annual continuation fee.  The annual continuation fee licenses a care service to operate.

All application fees are non-returnable.

To find out more about our fees click here.

Apply to register a service 

Create an account to begin your application

Sign in to see an existing application

If you require the application form in an alternative format, please call our contact centre on 0345 600 9527.