About us

We regulate

The Care Inspectorate regulates and inspects care services in Scotland to make sure that they meet the right standards. We also jointly inspect with other regulators to check how well different organisations in local areas work to support adults and children. 

Set up by Scottish Government, and accountable to ministers, it’s our job to assure and protect everyone that uses these services.  We work to make sure that everyone gets safe, high quality care that meets their needs.

Our 600 staff work across Scotland, inspecting thousands of services each year.

Find an office near you.

Meet our Our Board and Our Executive Team.

We inspect

There are around 14,000 registered care services in Scotland. Our inspectors visit every care service we regulate.  Higher risk services are inspected more often. Our inspectors talk to people using the service, staff and managers. They watch what happens in the service to help assess the quality of care people receive.

We want to make sure services safeguard people. They should be managed and led well, and make a positive impact on people’s lives, based on their needs, rights and choices.

We give care services grades when we inspect them. We look at the quality of:

  • care and support
  • environment
  • staffing
  • 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. 

What if things are not good enough?

Our job is not just to inspect care services, but help them improve. This means we offer advice, guidance and suggestions to help services reach the highest standards. If a service isn’t performing to the levels we require, we do not hesitate to act. We can issue recommendations for improvement and requirements for change and check these have happened. If a service doesn’t improve, we can close it down. We can also impose conditions on care service meaning they must start or stop doing something specific. 

The Scottish Regulators’ Strategic Code of Practice

The Care Inspectorate is one of the bodies required by the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”), to have regard to the Scottish Regulators’ Strategic Code. The Code is issued by the Scottish Ministers under s5 of the 2014 Act, and sets out the approaches we should seek to adopt in dealing with those we regulate. It should be noted, however, that while the Code seeks to assist regulators in  fulfilling their duty to contribute to achieving sustainable economic growth, the Code itself makes it clear that it is not a justification for non-compliance or a signal that regulators will tolerate that. The Care Inspectorate is clear that while it will strive to comply with the requirements of the Code in all that it does, it will always prioritise the safety, health and wellbeing of vulnerable people over commercial or business interests.  

We report annually on progress in implementing the Code.  

The Code itself can be found here.