Our support to local partnerships

Each strategic inspector acts as link inspector to one or more local authority areas across the country. The key purpose of the link inspector role is to fulfil the Care Inspectorate’s ‘general duty of furthering improvement in the quality of social services’ in relation to local authority social work services. This duty is set out at section 44(1)(b) of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.

The link inspector role has a degree of complexity because few social work services are now provided on a standalone basis. Most are now planned, delivered and monitored through partnership arrangements. Regardless of their specialist area, link inspectors engage across the broad spectrum of social work and care services for adults and older people, children and young people and justice services in their link areas.

The key areas of activity for link inspector work are:

  • monitoring the performance and quality of social work services
  • monitoring the performance of partnership public protection arrangements
  • identifying factors which are supporting social work services to deliver good or improved outcomes, and any barriers
  • highlighting risks to the delivery of positive outcomes by social work services, and the potential impact of those risks
  • identifying good practice within social work service and disseminating this more widely
  • supporting the efforts of local authorities and partnerships to build capacity for continuous improvement.

The Care Inspectorate also provides relationship managers for each council area, with responsibility for assurance and improvement work in relation to regulated services. There is a relationship manager for adult services and one for ELC. The link inspector and relationship managers work closely together.

More information about the relationship manager role can be found here.

You can get information about the link inspector for a particular local authority area by e-mailing the strategic support team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Information on the link inspector role for local authorities and partnerships can be found here.