Pre-employment checks revert to previous position (Added 8 September)

In light of registered care services not reporting significant staffing and recruitment problems, the Care Inspectorate and the SSSC have decided to revert to the previous position regarding pre-employment checks. 

This means that providers are expected to have received satisfactory checks including PVG membership and references before an individual starts work.  Removing the previous flexibility introduced at the start of the pandemic is aligned with Disclosure Scotland confirming that there are no longer delays in PVG checking.

Registration and variations to registration (updated 18 June)

We have received a number of enquiries regarding early learning and child care and out of school care provision for over the summer holidays and beyond. The following guidance will support providers when considering these proposals: Coronvirus (COVID-19) – intermediate response – Guidance for the Care Inspectorate registration team.

COVID-19 guides for social service workers (Added 17 June)

The Scottish Social Services Council have produced a range of 'bite-size' resources to support those working in healthcare during COVID-19. 

There are currently 9 guides that range from "key measures for infection prevention and control" to "support with death, dying and bereavement." 

Updated phase 1 guidance for fully outdoor childcare providers (Added 17 June)

The Scottish Government have released updated guidance for the reopening of fully outdoor childcare providers.

To support this a letter explaining the update has been issued by the Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate. 

New guidance to support planning for wider reopening of ELC Services (Added 15 June)

Today the Scottish Government published new guidance for the safe reopening of early learning and childcare (ELC) services in Phase 3 of Scotland’s Routemap.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers outlining what this guidance will mean for them.

We are now rolling out Near Me to adult residential services (Added 15 June)

Following our successful roll out of Near Me video consulting in care homes for older people and those for children and young people, we are now in the process of contacting care homes for adults to provide support in using it.

 Near Me is a video consulting service that enables people to have health and social care appointments from home or wherever is convenient. All you need is a device for making video calls like a smartphone and an internet connection. Near Me is a secure form of video consulting approved for use by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland.

 Residential services for adults may need to support the people they care for to take part in video consultation with a GP, an outpatient appointment or talk to an out of hours service. It is important that staff are trained and confident to help people successfully access remote consultations and appointments.

 We hope to contact over 250 services across Scotland to give information and offer a practice call using Near Me. Our initial contact will be by telephone, which will be followed up by email and a video call. 

New key question for care home inspections (Added 10 June) 

In order to robustly assess care home arrangements to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, our inspections are placing particular focus on infection prevention and control, personal protective equipment and staffing in care settings. 

We have developed Key Question 7 to augment  our quality framework for care homes for older people and our quality framework for care homes for adults.  We have done this to meet the duties placed on us by the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act and subsequent guidance that we must evaluate (grade) infection prevention and control and staffing.  

This means we will carry out targeted inspections that are short, focused and carried out with colleagues from Health Improvement Scotland and Health Protection Scotland, to assess care and support for people experiencing care and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to put the wellbeing for people experiencing care at the heart of our inspections.  

ELC COVID-19 Update for June 2020 (Added 10 June) 

The Scottish Government has published the Early Learning and Childcare Covid-19 Update for June. This update provides guidance for childminder and childcare services who are considering reopening during phase 1 of the route map.

Advice from Police Scotland on crime prevention for care homes (Added 5 June)

Following a series of break-ins to care homes resulting in the theft of safes, Police Scotland has produced a helpful guide on simple measures you can take to protect your property. We are pleased to share it with you here.

Interfaith listening service open to all (Added 4 June)

Edinburgh Interfaith Association has set up Time to Talk, a COVID-19 listening service for care home residents and their families. No advice will be offered - only kindness, empathy and a willingness to listen. The service is available every day from 11am - 7pm.

To find out more about the listening service, read their introductory letter to care homes, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07519 418451.

You can visit their website here.

Letter from Chief Nursing Officer outlines new resources for care homes (Added 3 June)

The Chief Nursing Officer has outlined in a letter a number of resources to support care home managers and staff, published on the Scottish Government website. These resources will support care homes to identify factors that may impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of residents and provide a consistent framework for assessment and reporting of risk. You can read the letter here.

The resources can be found here.

Supplementary national child protection guidance (Added 3 June)

The Scottish Government has issued updated supplementary child protection guidance. The updated document provides guidance for social workers on home visits and direct contact interviews with service users, testing for children being moved between or to new care placements and the operation of children’s hearings.

You can access the guidance here.

Childminder services guidance for phase 1 of route map (Added 2 June)

The Scottish Government has released guidance to support childminding settings closed during lockdown, to reopen during Phase 1 of the route map for recovery from COVID-19.

You can access this here.

Your notifications and the new Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act (Added 2 June)

Last week we let you know that the new Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act is now in force. Although this does not mean any changes to the notifications you must make to us, it does mean that you are now legally bound to make these. Our legal services team have produced a helpful summary of what the new Act means for care homes, which you can read here. 

You can read the Act in full here.

Amended letter to all childcare providers following the First Minister’s statement (Updated 29 May)

Yesterday (28 May) the First Minister announced that Scotland will begin to ease out of lockdown and move in to Phase 1 of the routemap.

We have received helpful feedback that the letter we issued to all childcare providers regarding this wasn’t as clear as it could have been. We are grateful to those who have pointed out areas where further clarity is required, and we are therefore reissuing the notice today. Please refer to this version from now onward.

You can access the updated letter here.

ELC including childminders and out of school care (Added 27 May)

The announcement made by the First Minister on Thursday 21 May 2020 outlined the Scottish Government Route Map and a phased approach is planned to the lifting of lockdown. The First Minister was clear in her message that each stage will be reviewed and take account of scientific evidence and research before we move forward.

Phase one of the plan will announced on Thursday 28 May 2020. We know at this point it is the intention to include childminders and solely outdoor nurseries as services that will become operational. However, there is no date yet for when these services will be operational. this is yet to be confirmed by Scottish Government.   The guidance to support services including childminders deliver safe childcare has yet to be published, but any guidance will be sent to all services through the Care Inspectorate Provider Update. Until guidance is issued and an implementation date for childminders and outdoor nurseries to operate is announced the current situation remains in place. Phase three of the Route Map will introduce more daycare provision, and this programme will be announced at a later date.

Remember to inform us if you change your operating status.

When it is the right time for your service to become operational, It is important that you contact us to let us know about your plans, so that we can change your status to ‘open’ on our system. You should complete the ‘Changes to service delivery due to coronavirus (COVID-19)’ eform when you change your status. This includes when you open or close your service as well as any changes to how you operate, as detailed in the notification guidance. If you do not update your status, your service will be considered closed.

In the meantime, we are producing some frequently asked questions that should help you consider whether to open or extend your service. The safety and wellbeing of children and staff working in services is paramount and we will continue to support you to take a planned approach to ensure high-quality early learning and childcare while promoting the health and safety of children, childminders, staff and families.

We know that the safe operation of your services is key, and we look forward to working with you to achieve this as we all move forward together. We hope this information helps you at this point but please be assured that further guidance will be issued in the near future.

Dementia care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (Added 22 May)

We have published a new resource ‘Dementia care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’ for care services to support them when caring for people living with dementia. 

This can be accessed here.

A letter to all childcare providers following First Minister’s statement (Added 21 May)

Today, the First Minister made a statement to the Scottish Parliament setting out Scotland’s routemap through and out of the crisis, including a phased approach out of lockdown.

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Directorate has issued a letter to all childcare providers outlining what this will mean for them.

You can read the letter here.

Physical distancing in education and childcare settings updated guidance (Added 20 May)

The Scottish Government has released updated guidance on physical distancing in education and childcare settings. 

You can access the guidance here.

A joint statement from the Care Inspectorate and the SCMA (Added 18 May)

The Care Inspectorate and the SCMA have issued a joint statement:

Following the UK Government announcements last week regarding some relaxations to lockdown restrictions in England (including in relation to childminding settings in England), we thought that we should clarify that the official position has not changed in Scotland. We would stress that –

  • Current guidance on the closure of daycare services for children and childminding services in light of the COVID-19 restrictions published by the Scottish Government that took effect on 30 March 2020 remains in place. This advises that childminding settings can only be open to provide childcare for key workers and vulnerable children and that they cannot provide this childcare for more than two families (excluding their own families) at any one time
  • Childminders are reminded that providing childcare for any other families at this time would be contrary to the restrictions which have been put in place to reduce the impact of the virus, keep children and families safe, and save lives. It is also the expectation of the Care Inspectorate that childminders should follow national guidance during this pandemic
  • We are aware that childminders are continuing to receive increasing approaches from parents/carers as some employers return to work. However, until such time as the position in Scotland changes all childminders should comply with the national guidance.

Strengthened clinical oversight for care homes (Added 18 May)

New arrangements to significantly strengthen oversight of Scotland’s care homes have been published by the Scottish Government. As a result of these changes - clinical and care professionals at NHS boards and local authorities will have a lead role in the oversight for care homes in their area.

You can read the full guidance on these arrangements here.

Letter from the cabinet secretary.

Interim guidance on COVID-19 PCR testing in care homes (Updated 16 May)

Health Protection Scotland has released Interim guidance on COVID-19 PCR testing in care homes and the management of COVID-19 PCR test positive residents and staff. 

You can view the guidance here.

COVID-19 information on NHS inform (Added 15 May)

People whose first or preferred language is not English can get information about coronavirus (COVID-19) in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Polish, Romanian, Slovak and Urdu on NHS inform. Spanish and Punjabi translations will be added shortly. All the translations are published here.

Additionally you can access British Sign Language (BSL) translations here and ,for those with sight loss, an audio version is available here.

The SSSC recruitment hub – ready to help as soon as you need it (Added 13 May)

The SSSC social care and health recruitment hub is available to all social care services in Scotland to help you make sure you have enough skilled staff in place. We are urging all providers to think ahead – your staffing needs may change quickly so it is important that you have a contingency plan in place.

You should notify us of your Red-Amber-Green (RAG) staffing status but there is no need to wait to access the SSSC recruitment hub if you need staff. 

The hub has people available to work now who are waiting to be matched to services and more people will be added as soon as checks are completed.  Additional people continue to be added daily so please continue checking for those available in your local authority area.  

Read the SSSC’s letter to services here.

National children's wellbeing survey

Children's Parliament is supporting a national survey for children aged 8 to 14 years old. It is designed to measure the wellbeing of children during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The survey is anonymous and can be accessed here.

New palliative care toolkit includes section on care homes (Added 11 May)

The Scottish Government has produced a palliative care toolkit for application during the COVID-19 outbreak. While it is primarily aimed at NHS Boards, it includes a section on care homes. The toolkit does not replace existing palliative care processes and guidance documents but offers a range of practical tools to strengthen any local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The toolkit is available here.

New guidance on repurposing medicines during COVID-19 (Added 11 May)

The Care Inspectorate and NHS Scotland have produced guidance for care homes and hospices on repurposing prescription medicines during the pandemic.

Video guidance is available to be viewed here.

To support this guidance, the Care Inspectorate and SSSC have issued a joint statement on ethical and professional decision-making.

COVID-19 cyber security guidance (Added 6 May)

The Scottish Business resilience centre has released a guide on cyber security while using Zoom: video conferencing. You can access it here.

Additionally, Scottish Government have released advice regarding COVID-19 common scams. This can be viewed here.

Automatic fire alarm changes during COVID-19  (Added 6 May)

Fire Scotland have revised their response to automatic fire alarms to ensure an appropriate, proportionate response while observing social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

You can read guidance regarding these changes here.

SCMA Statement on Increasing Demand for Childcare from Employees Returning to Work (Added 4 May)

SCMA has been receiving an increasing number of enquiries from members around Scotland regarding a rise in requests from non-key worker parents/carers for childcare. 

You can read the statement from SCMA here.

COVID-19: updated information and guidance for care home settings (Updated 4 May)

Health Protection Scotland have updated their COVID-19 information and guidance for care home settings. You can access this guidance here.

COVID-19 Incident or outbreak control tool for social or community care or residential settings (Added 1 May)

Health Protection Scotland have released a control measure tool for the control of incidents and outbreaks in Social or Community Care & Residential Settings, specific for COVID-19, and should be used accordingly, following the general advice provided in the guidance.

You access this here.

Infection prevention and control COVID-19 outbreak checklist (Added 1 May)

Health Protection Scotland have released an infection prevention and control COVID-19 outbreak checklist. The checklist is designed for the control of incidents and outbreak in healthcare settings and can be used within a COVID area when there is an individual case or multiple cases.

You can view it here.

A joint statement from the Care Inspectorate and the SSSC

The Care Inspectorate and the SSSC have issued a joint statement on ethical and professional decision-making in the COVID-19 pandemic, and risk assessment guidance on repurposing of medicines within care home services. 

You can access this here.

Revised notification guidance (updated 30 April)

We have updated our guidance on notifications for all services except childminders. The updated guidance includes new and updated categories of notifications related to COVID-19 that care services must make. These include notifying us of the end of an outbreak and notifications about staff.

You can view the guidance here.

New guide for people with dementia going into hospital during the pandemic (Added 30 April)

Alzheimer Scotland has published a guide for people with dementia, families and carers on going into hospital during the pandemic.  This may be helpful for services where people living with dementia are going into hospital and need staff help to prepare. You can read the guide here.

Join us tomorrow for a minute’s silence on International Workers’ Memorial Day (Added 27 April)

The theme for this year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday 28 April is Coronavirus. As you will all be only too aware, the fight against this pandemic affects workers across the globe. Sadly, a number our health and social care colleagues in Scotland have already succumbed to the virus. Our thoughts remain with the families and loved ones of each of those who have died. We invite you to join us in an act of collective remembrance at 11am tomorrow morning.

 Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman and COSLA Health & Social Care Spokesperson Councillor Stuart Currie have issued a joint letter paying tribute to key workers on this day.

New guidance for residential children’s services (Added 27 April)

The Scottish Government has published guidance on staffing, social distancing and self-isolation for residential children’s houses, residential schools and secure care facilities.

Reporting of COVID-19 to the Health and Safety Executive (Added 27 April)

The Health and Safety Executive has issued guidance on RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) responsibilities for employers. You can read the guidance here.

Updated PVG guidance (Added 27 April) 

Our existing Protecting Vulnerable Groups – Guidance for Care Inspectorate Staff and Service Providers, available on our website, advise that providers should seek updates on individual staff PVG Scheme membership every three years.

This is not a requirement of Disclosure Scotland but rather our advice for safe recruitment good practice.

In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the pressures on both Disclosure Scotland and care services, we have decided to retract this advice at this time and will review it once the pandemic is ended.   Therefore, you no longer need to routinely review PVG Scheme membership every three years.  However, where an existing employee is moving into a new role, you should risk assess this and consider whether there is a specific need to get a PVG update.

Where someone has previously only been a member of the PVG scheme for children and will now be working with vulnerable adults (or the other way round) an application to join the appropriate scheme must still be made.

If you have any questions in relation to this please contact your inspector.

Caring for Smiles advice on oral health for care homes and care at home during COVID-19 (Added 27 April)

It is important that day-to-day mouth care should continue to ensure good oral health. There may be anxiety about splashes, but wearing PPE will help carers continue to maintain the everyday health and care of the people they look after. You can find advice for care homes here, and for care at home service here.

Updated national clinical guidance for nursing and allied health professional (AHP) community staff (Added 23 April)

Scottish Government has updated guidance for Nursing and Allied Health Professional (AHP) Community Staff. The new guidance includes a section on community children's nursing.

This can be accessed here.

Strategic inspection teams – quality assurance of notifications related to joint inspection work (Added 23 April)

During this pandemic, while we continue our quality assurance work in relation to deaths of looked after children, initial and significant case reviews, and serious incident reviews, we are committed to minimising demands on partners’ time and resources during this period. Read more here.

Letter to all care homes on testing from Scottish Government (Added 23 April)

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman has issued a letter for care all care homes to provide further details on procedures in place for testing care home staff and residents for COVID-19. You can read the letter here.

End of outbreak notification comms (Added 22 April 2020)

A new notification is now live, which will allow care services to notify the Care Inspectorate of the end of a COVID-19 outbreak. We are using guidance from Health Protection Scotland to define when you can say that the outbreak is over. 

The end of the COVID-19 outbreak in your service is when there has not been a new person who experiences care with symptoms for 14 days.  

People experiencing care who remain symptomatic should continue to be isolated until they are well and complete their period of isolation. 

We are not including staff members in this because, if they have symptoms they should not be at work. 

This notification can be accessed, preferably by using eForms or by using this link.

If you are using the notification links above, once you click 'next page', your form will be submitted and you will be returned to our homepage. You will not receive confirmation the form has been submitted. If you need to complete another notification, please click ‘COVID-19 – Information and guidance for care services’ to redirect you back to this page.

We are very aware that we have introduced several new notifications and that there are many other people looking for data at this time. We appreciate the time and effort you are taking to complete these notifications, we will use this information to support you and to share with Scottish Government colleagues with responsibility for planning the COVID-19 response. 

Updated guidance for social or community care and residential settings (updated 22 April 2020)

Health Protection Scotland have updated their COVID-19 guidance for social or community care and residential settings. 

It can be downloaded from their website here.

Alert - journalists posing as Care Inspectorate staff (Added 21 April)

We have been alerted of instances where journalists have telephoned services posing as a Care Inspectorate employee in order to obtain information about COVID-19 within the service. Please share this alert with all your staff. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be one of our employees and you don’t already know them, you can ask the caller to email you. Our staff email addresses end with  Any email not ending with this is not from a Care Inspectorate email account.

Outdoor play at emergency childcare settings (Added 21 April)

Scottish Government has published COVID-19 guidance on outdoor play for emergency childcare hubs. You can read the guidance here.

Supplementary national child protection guidance (Added 20 April)

The Scottish Government has issued updated national child protection guidance. The supplementary guidance addresses a potential rise in caseloads due to the impact of coronavirus. You can view the guidance here.

Changes to notifications (Added 17 April)

We have been working closely Scottish Ministers and have agreed to update some of our notifications.  We do appreciate these additional notifications will increase workload, but we are sure that this information will help us support you better and will give a clear picture to Scottish Government so it can understand the challenges, and plan and put in place the necessary and best response for care services. 

These changes include the following.

  • Outbreak notification - services will need to notify us of each individual case of COVID-19 in a person using the service. Each individual case should be reported on a separate notification form. 
  • Staffing Absences - a new weekly staff absence notification to be completed every Tuesday. This notification will ask about staff who are self-isolating, shielding and those who are not working due to stress related to COVID-19. We will also ask if there are staff in hospital.
  • Death of a staff member - this notification to be completed as soon as the service is made aware.

These notifications will be live as of the evening of 17 April 2020.

They can be accessed, preferably via eForms, or using the links below.

If you are using the notification links above, once you click 'next page', your form will be submitted and you will be returned to our homepage.   You will not receive confirmation the form has been submitted.  If you need to complete another notification, please click ‘COVID-19 – Information and guidance for care services’ to redirect you back to this page

Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Notice (Added 17 April)

You can view this week's Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Notice here.

Covid-19 Fraud watch summary (Added 17 April)

You can view a Covid-19 Fraud watch summary from the Fraud Advisory Panel here.

A message to services (Added 16 April)

As we continue to review and adjust our practice as the pandemic evolves, we have issued a message for services giving an update on our activities to support them during the pandemic. You can read it here.

Staffing during the COVID-19 crisis (Added 16 April)

We’re working with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), the Scottish Government, COSLA and other partners to set up a system to help social care services recruit staff during this critical time.

It’s important you remember to submit your RAG information to us.

Social service staff are being added to the new SSSC recruitment portal daily and the SSSC will use this to assess services and match those in urgent need to care staff in your area.

Find out more here.

 Scotland’s first Bereavement Charter for Children and Adults (added 15 April)

The Charter together with Guidance notes and frequently asked questions (FAQs) contains 15 statements which describe what the best bereavement care and support should look like. It has been developed to support individuals and communities who struggle with the death of someone they know or someone in their community.

Inactive services during COVID-19 (added 10 April)

The Care Inspectorate understands that as a result of the current situation regarding Covid-19 that a number of registered care services will not be operational during this period. In normal circumstances, we ask services to submit a notification indicating where the service is ‘inactive’ for any length of time in certain circumstances and we note this formally on our systems.

To reduce further pressure on services and to give maximum flexibility to re-establish registered services as easily as possible, the position is that any registered service not operating directly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is not required to submit an application to become inactive during this period.

Contingency foster care arrangements during Covid-19 (added 10 April 2020)

We are aware that the Coronavirus outbreak is likely to have a significant impact on the demand for care services, including a rise in the number of children requiring to be placed in foster care arrangements. Due to the potential impact of COVID-19 on authorities placing children and availability of foster carers, authorities may wish to augment the number of placements available. They could do this by using staff employed by them in a relevant professional capacity who are registered with a professional regulatory body to care for the young person in the staff member’s own home. In these situations, we would expect that the fostering agency satisfy themselves of certain aspects which we have outlined here.

Help us support you to deliver care (updated 10 April)

On 3 April, we introduced a new notification on staffing levels designed to enable us to direct you to available help and support you may urgently need in order to cope with the impact of COVID-19 on your service.

Put simply, your notifications will ultimately enable us to identify, co-ordinate and put in place the support you need when staffing levels are critically compromised due to COVID-19.

You do not need to submit this notification if you have assessed your current service staffing levels to be green category.

You should only submit this notification if your staffing situation changes from being green to the amber or red category. You should also submit the notification if the staffing situation improves to a lower category from red or amber.

If we receive such a notification from you, our inspector will be in touch with you to offer support.

It is essential that you use the notification to let us know about any changes in the staffing situation in your care service.

The notification lets you tell us which stage you are at:

  • Green, with enough staff/skills mix
  • Amber, stretched and only just managing
  • Red, where you no longer have the staffing levels/skills mix to meet people’s needs.

We will also share this information appropriately, together with other information we are gathering, with others who can help such as local authorities, health and social care partnerships, Scottish Government, and the NHS/SSSC Hub to deliver support across partnership areas and nationally.  

This can be done via eForms.

This new notification is in addition to others we have recently introduced or adjusted to help us support care during COVID-19.

  • Outbreak of infectious diseases: for any outbreak of an infectious disease, including COVID-19. 
  • Death of a service user – for any death of a service user, including from confirmed or suspected covid19.
  • Change of circumstances related to covid19 – this is a new notification that services can use to tell us about any changes to how they operate that is specifically related to covid19.  This is only available through eForms
  • Covid19: staff shortages – this is the newest notification and enables services to tell us about changes to staffing levels and what additional staffing is required. This is only available through eForms.

If you are using the notification links above, once you click 'next page', your form will be submitted and you will be returned to our homepage.   You will not receive confirmation the form has been submitted.  If you need to complete another notification, please click ‘COVID-19 – Information and guidance for care services’ to redirect you back to this page

These additional notifications are helping us to better understand and inform others of the pressures services across Scotland are facing during COVID-19, so that support measures can be considered and offered.

Find out more about how the SSSC is supporting staffing at this time.

Deferment of continuation of Registration Fees (added 8 April 2020)

The Care Inspectorate and Scottish Government recognise the financial and other pressures that providers of care services are currently under.  To support service providers and assist with alleviating cash flow problems service providers are encountering at this difficult time the Care Inspectorate will delay the collection of continuation of registration fees due by care services until July 2020. We will review this position again in June 2020 before any fee collections are made.

This will mean care service providers need not pay any balance of the fees due for the 2019/20 financial year until July 2020.

Service providers normally due to receive fee invoices in April 2020 will not receive an invoice for the 2020/21 financial year until July 2020 (position subject to review in June 2020).

We are happy to make arrangements with service providers that would prefer not to defer the balance of 2019/20 fees.  We are issuing more detailed guidance directly to care service providers.   

Fee for Applying to Register a Care Service

We have an emergency truncated registration process in place to ensure a care service set up on a temporary basis as a response to the coronavirus crisis can operate legally.  We are not charging an application to register or any other fees to these temporary services.

Individuals or organisations applying to register a permanent care service will follow our normal registration process and be liable to pay an application to register fee.

Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Programme COVID-19 update (added 08 April 2020)

The Scottish Government Early Learning and Childcare Programme has published a COVID-19 newsletter. This has replaced their monthly programme updates and will be published regularly for the duration of the pandemic response. 

You can download a copy here.

Scottish Government monitoring uptake and provision of childcare places 

The Scottish Government continues to monitor the uptake and provision of places in early learning and childcare settings.  This includes private and third-sector all-day childcare services including nurseries, out of school care and childminders (not local authority settings). Information about local authority settings will be gathered on a separate survey.  

It is vital that these services complete this short online survey daily by 15:00 each day.  You can access the survey here.

It is acknowledged that many settings have now closed.  If your setting is closed, please submit the survey once.  If your setting becomes operational please complete this on a daily basis before 15:00.

Information will be collated by Scottish Government and alongside the local authority data, this will be used to monitor the level of provision during the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Your continued support with this is appreciated.

Scottish Government Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill (added 7 April 2020)

The Scottish Government Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill received Royal Assent came into effect on 7 April 2020. We’ve produced a short briefing highlighting the main points relevant to care services.

You can read it here.

Updated guidance for social or community care and residential settings (updated 6 April 2020)

Health Protection Scotland have updated their guidance for social or community care and residential settings to include information about personal protective equipment (PPE).

This can be downloaded from their website here.  

SAPG guidance on antibiotic use (updated 6 April 2020)

The Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) has published some interim advice for clinical teams to ensure antimicrobial stewardship is maintained during the coronavirus COVID-19 emergency.   This includes:

  • Updated advice COVID-19 hospital (23 March 2020)
  • Interim advice COVID-19 frail older people (23 March 2020)
  • Interim advice to Antimicrobial Management Teams (12 March 2020)

These documents can be downloaded from the SAPG website here

Disclosure Scotland fee suspension  (added 3 April 2020)

Disclosure Scotland is suspending all fees for key workers and volunteers who are being drafted to help Scotland fight against  COVID-19.   This is a temporary measure which will be in place for an initial period of six weeks, before being reviewed and extended further, if needed. 

Disclosure Scotland has already put a number of temporary measures in place to ensure the country can be properly resourced to tackle COVID-19, including only processing applications for workers deemed critical.  As the situation develops and evolves, the list of prioritised sectors may change as they identifies other sectors with roles critical to supporting the Scottish Government at this time.

Please refer to and ensure you only submit applications for those vital to the fight against COVID-19.   If submitting more than 50 applications simultaneously, please give advance notice by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can view the list of workers deemed critical  and further information on their website here.  

Scottish Government supplementary national child protection guidance (31 March 2020)

Scottish Government has written to key organisations with responsibilities around child protection to inform them of supplementary guidance now available to support them to carry out their duties during the COVID-19 emergency.

You can view the letter and guidance here

Guidance from Scottish Government - social distancing in education and childcare settings (updated 31 March 2020)

The Scottish Government has published guidance for organisations and their staff working in local authority, independent and grant-aided schools, other education and childcare settings that are providing care to vulnerable children and children of key workers.

Supporting people to keep in touch when care homes are not accepting visitors (updated 30 March 2020)

Where care homes are not accepting visitors, it is important that systems are put in place to enable people to keep in touch. This is a time of concern and worry for people about their loved ones and it is important that they can keep in touch. It is also important for the health and wellbeing of people who live in services to not feel abandoned by family and friends.

Download our supporting people to keep in touch when care homes are not accepting visitors guide.

SCLD coronavirus information for people with learning disabilities (updated 30 March 2020)

The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) has produced guidance for people with learning disabilities on the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.  This includes easy-read common questions and stay at home advice.

Find out more on their website here or join their Facebook group ‘SCLD stay in touch’, which is open to anyone. 

Guidance from the Scottish Government for early learning and childcare services (updated 30 March 2020)

The Scottish Government has issued new guidance: 

Update following guidance for childminders (updated 26 March 2020)

Following the distribution of the Scottish Government guidance which sets out the implications for childminding services on 25 March 2020, there has been a request for clarification in relation to the number of households childminders can support at any one time and over the week.

In relation to this, the advice is that childminders should care for the children of no more than two households (in addition to the childminder’s own household) at any one time. Where childminders are working with more than two families over the course of the week, it is advised that they consider additional cleaning measures to reduce risk of transmission via surfaces and equipment.

We hope this provides clarification to support childminders continue to provide that critical childcare during this period.

You can download the guidance here

Advice note for practitioners from the Mental Welfare Commission (updated 3 April 2020)

The Mental Welfare Commission is being contacted for advice on mental health care and treatment related to this pandemic.

In light of this, and in anticipation of emergency legislation currently going through Parliament, they have produced this advice note for practitioners who are using the Mental Health Act and Adults with Incapacity Act when caring for patients.

Guidance for childminders (updated 25 March 2020)

The Scottish Government has issued guidance which sets out the implications for childminding services.

Closure of schools and early learning and childcare settings (updated 23 March)

The Deputy First Minister issued a letter on Thursday 19 March 2020 with an update on the closure of schools and early learning and childcare settings. You can read the letter here.

The Scottish Government has also published further information: 

Staffing in services during coronavirus outbreak (updated 20 March)

Child to adult ratios feature in our registration and inspection of early learning and childcare (ELC). However, for other service types, including care homes, the Care Inspectorate stopped issuing staffing schedules at the point of registering a service in 2018. Instead, we expect the staffing numbers, and skills and experience of staff to reflect the needs of people who use services. 

At this extremely challenging time, we will support all services in their need to apply flexibility and judgement around staffing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people using the service. We recognise that services will need to be creative and make use of a wider range of resources. This could potentially include staff from other public services and volunteers. We recognise that this will mean services may not be able to undertake all normal recruitment checks as quickly and easily as they did before. 

However, during this period it is important that providers put in place structures to support and oversee staff in their role, including any volunteers and unregistered staff. The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is responsible for registering the social care workforce. People can work in registrable roles for a period of 12 months without being registered, which enables services to adopt a flexible approach.

You can view the SSSC Guidance here.

This highlights the six-month period after starting work to obtain registration. This applies to:

  • new staff you might recruit
  • workers covering other roles due to staff shortages
  • students who seek work to help with shortages.

Registration and variations to registration (updated 20 March)

We intend to be flexible around our registration practice where we may have to register different facilities as time goes on. We will prioritise our registration work to support the national response and the sustainability of services.

Existing providers can make arrangements to deliver temporary care services by applying for a variation to their existing service.    This allows the temporary care service to be added as a time-limited condition to the existing service.  Please see the contingency guidance below for more details on this.

  • registered services that are in premises already registered


  • temporary new services set up as an emergency response and provided in a place that members of the public normally visit with a reasonable expectation of being safe, for example, a church, church hall, faith group premises, school, school hall, community centre, library, town hall, restaurant, or other licensed premises

We will issue without a registration or variation visit or payment of a fee, a registration certificate with conditions for a period of up to six months provided:

  • the provider has completed an application form with information about the service to be provided, including staffing and premises safety
  • there are no concerns in relation to the provider or staff group
  • the provider/applicant confirms in writing any further information we require.

We will give all such applications immediate priority. 

Care Inspectorate Registration Contingency Plan

Inspections, complaints, and joint inspections (updated 13 March)

The Care Inspectorate has a duty to consider carefully how best to support care services in the vital work they do caring for vulnerable people. 

We have already taken the decision to cease our inspections of care services and our joint inspections of local authority social work services and health and social care partnerships at this time, and put in place arrangements which will involve gathering information, assessing the level of risk in care services and establishing assurances about the quality of care people experience. 

In order to protect the safety and wellbeing of people experiencing care we are only making visits to services when that is absolutely necessary.  

We are also operating in a similar way to deal with complaints about care. 

Inspection reports and complaint outcomes which are in progress will be placed on hold until further notice. 

Anyone with a concern about a care service should, in the first instance, raise this with the manager of the service. The Care Inspectorate will consider complaints and will apply a risk assessment that may result in complaints being referred to the service provider.