Covid-19 notifications  

Update: Smart Survey now discontinued for collecting notification data

During the early stages of the pandemic, we put in place the facility to submit a notification to us using Smart Survey. This was to enable a service to inform us of a notifiable event as soon as possible, even when they did not have access to the eForms system or the eForms system was unavailable. This may have occurred for example on weekends, or when our contact centre wasn’t open. Now, in order to streamline the notification process once more, we ask that all notifications are submitted using eForms only.  

If you are unable to access eForms please get in touch with our Contact Centre during its normal opening hours (09:00 – 16:00).

  • COVID-19 outbreak notifications - We have changed some of our COVID-19 notifications to make them easier to use. We have created four specific notifications to enable you to tell us when there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19, and when these end. Please use the same notifications both for staff and for people experiencing care.  

The four new notifications are specifically:   

Suspected cases of COVID-19 – please use this when someone who experiences care or a member of staff, including agency workers, shows symptoms of coronavirus. The notification can record multiple individuals, therefore if several people show symptoms at the same time, you only need to complete one notification.

End of suspected outbreak of COVID-19 – please use this notification if the suspected cases result in negative tests, or after they have shown no symptoms for a period of 14 days.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 notification – Please use this notification whenever someone experiencing care, or a member of staff, including agency staff, tests positive for COVID-19. Please also use this notification if a test has not been possible but coronavirus is confirmed by a medical professional. You need to complete this notification for each person who has been confirmed as having COVID-19.

End of confirmed COVID-19 outbreak notification – Please use this notification when the outbreak of COVID-19 has come to an end, based on negative tests, or when people who had symptoms have shown no symptoms for 14 days.                                                        

  • Changes of circumstances due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)Within the notification the provider should note the change to the service provision and confirm the service can meet the care and welfare needs of the individuals that they are providing care for. This form should be used to change operating status (open/closed). It can also be used to request changes to the service delivery, for example opening or moving a Hub.  
  • Inactive services during COVID-19The 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. 

    However, you must inform the Care Inspectorate of your operating status (open/closed). You can do this via E-forms by submitting the ‘Changes to circumstances due to Covid-19' form. 

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. 

Covid-19 staffing notifications  

  • 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. 

Tell Us Once – what to do after someone dies 

Tell Us Once is a free service that allows you to share details of the deceased with relevant government departments, removing the need to engage with each one separately and supply numerous copies of the death certificate.

The service is available in all councils across England, Scotland and Wales and In 2019/2020, 78% of all citizens who registered a death went on to use the Tell Us Once service.

Tell Us Once can notify organisations including:

  • DWP State Pension, Universal Credit, Attendance Allowance and so on
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • HM Passport Office
  • Council services such as adult social services, libraries, Blue Badge, concessionary travel, electoral services
  • Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)
  • Public Sector Pensions: NHS, Teachers, Armed forces and so on.

If you are registering a death with a registrar in your capacity as a care home manager, official informant, next of kin or relative:

  • The registrar will issue you with a unique Tell Us Once service reference number.
  • You can use this reference number to access Tell Us Once on line at or through a dedicated telephony team.
  • A list of What you will need to complete the service to notify Central and Local government departments to stop services, notify Pensions and Benefits, cancel passports and so on is available on

The system is easy to use and once completed departments are notified instantly, no need for you to contact them separately via telephone or in writing.

The Tell Us Once service is the result of partnership working between Central and Local government and aims to help citizens at a time when they need it the most.

If you have any questions about the service or would like to find out more, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Previous notification updates  

COVID-19 Scrutiny Assessment Tool (SAT) (Added 30 July)

The COVID-19 Scrutiny Assessment Tool (SAT) is a trigger tool developed by the Care Inspectorate to identify indicators of potential concerns in care homes.

From 14 August this will replace the current Risk Assessment Rating (RAD) for all Care Homes (Adults, Older People, Children and Young People). Inspectors will begin this process from 30 July.

A list of questions that the inspectors will answer when completing the SAT in the RMS system can be found here. This is for service provider’s information only.

The SAT is not a risk assessment in the same way that the RAD was but will support us to identify what level of support and scrutiny is appropriate for a service taking account their current circumstances.

In developing the COVID-19 SAT we considered specific information relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on what our intelligence has so far identified as being key indicators or concerns within services to allow us to consider where additional support and/or scrutiny may be required. 

The COVID-19 SAT is based on a Scrutiny Assessment Tool we have developed and tested that included information from our enforcement review.  The release of the new tool was delayed due to the pandemic, we are planning to release the full SAT for all service types later in the year. 

Remember to inform us if you change your operating status (Added 28 July)

A number of services closed due to COVID-19 have now reopened and others are likely to open soon, as lockdown restrictions are eased. If your service has been closed, it’s important that you contact us, 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.

This eform 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 to remain closed.

Inactive care services (Added 28 July)

Please note our inactive process is different from the procedures for open and closed services due to COVID-19.  It may be that your service is inactive, if this is the case and you wish to resume your service, you must follow the procedures noted in the letter sent to you when your service became inactive, which includes submitting a notification ‘Service becoming active’ in order to change your status to active and open.  

If you would like to become inactive you must submit a notification ‘Service becoming inactive’.  Any applications to extend  the timescales for inactivity agreed will be considered in line with our inactive guidance. Further information on our inactive process can be found here Inactive Care Services.

Application to vary registration due to quarantine (Added 25 June)

In line with government advice that people travelling from other countries to the UK must quarantine for 14 days, we are aware that some school care accommodation services may need to vary the dates during which they are registered to operate. This will be in order to allow young people to quarantine before the start of the school term. 

If you require to vary your registration for this purpose, please complete an application to vary registration so that the Care Inspectorate can ensure this is processed in good time.

This can be done through your eForms account. 

End to staffing shortage notification (Added 22 June)

The Care Inspectorate no longer requires care services to submit notifications around staffing issues under the Red Amber Green (RAG) system. 

This notification was brought in April to assist care services to flag up where there were particular staffing shortages and allowed the Care Inspectorate, SSSC, Health and Social Care Partnerships, the NHS and Scottish Government to provide a rapid response. 

Our intelligence and data gathered in the past month indicates that care services now have good access to staffing resources directly as required, and as such we are now removing the obligation on care services to report staffing issues to us.

Any services that do experience staffing issues going forward can still access the SSSC NES portal 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. 

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. 

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.  

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. 

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.