Change of grades

The grades awarded to services at inspections describe how well those services are performing against our quality themes and statements. Inspectors use their professional knowledge and experience, along with the National Care Standards, to determine the most appropriate grades. 

We also take account of information and intelligence that we receive on the performance of care services: from people who use them, our complaints process, and from notifications received from services about significant events that happen or any major change that affect the service delivered. 

It is not uncommon for care services to see their grades change over time, both upwards and downwards.

Just like the people who use care services and their carers, we – as a regulator – expect continual improvement and constantly need to raise the bar. 

In many areas of work, practice and approaches that may have been acceptable even a small number of years ago are now considered out-dated or are not acceptable today.

Practice that was once cutting-edge may now be routine. We constantly seek to improve practice across all the services we regulate, knowing that the expectations placed on caring professionals are constantly evolving.

In April 2013, the Care Inspectorate restructured its inspection staff to work in specialist teams. This means that, in so far as possible, all inspections will be carried out by inspectors whose own practice background and areas of expertise match the type of service under scrutiny. We believe this will help to drive forward continual improvement and assist in the sharing of good practice. 

We are also reviewing our methodology at present to determine how to strengthen our inspections and how we report on our findings. The aim is to ensure we are clearly focused on assessing and reporting how it feels to receive care services and the difference those services are making to people’s lives.

To find our more information about how we re-evaluate/regrade download our guidance here