5 pathways for complaints

Following assessment, there are a number of ways we can handle concerns when they are raised with us and we may use multiple methodologies for one concern. It is important that each concern is dealt with through the most appropriate route to ensure that concerns are resolved as quickly and effectively as possible. 

These routes are:    

Intelligence - where we receive information about a care service, we may use the information as intelligence about the service to help inform our scrutiny and improvement support activity. For example bringing forward a full, unannounced inspection of a service. 

Direct service action – when issues are straightforward and suitable for quick or immediate action, we contact the service and ask that they engage directly with the person making the complaint to resolve the issues directly with the person. Typically, this is used to intervene quickly and achieve a positive result. 

Investigation by the care provider – when issues are suitable for the complaint to be investigated via the service’s complaint procedure, we obtain consent to share the person’s contact details with the service and we require the service provider and ask them to investigate the concerns and respond to the complaint.  

Complaint investigation by the Care Inspectorate – following assessment, we investigate serious complaints about failings in care that have led to or are likely to lead to poor outcomes from an individual or individuals. 

Adult and Children support and protection – any concerns which require to be assessed as adult or child protection concerns are referred to the lead agency, the Social Work Department. We keep in touch with the Social Work Department until a decision is made about if an investigation will take place. If a decision is made that no investigation is required by them, the issues will be re-assessed and investigated by the Care Inspectorate if this is appropriate.  

We receive information from a range of sources. As referred to above, every concern raised is risk-assessed to determine the seriousness of the concerns and dealt with appropriately and proportionately. If we investigate and uphold a complaint about a care service, the outcome is published on our website.

Read more

Inspector recruitment

Recruitment banner inspector recruitment process 01

How we recruit inspectors

Our inspector recruitment process also follows the same model as our other roles with the addition of a two-step selection stage, detailed below. 

Selection assessment 1

If you’re shortlisted, we’ll invite you to complete our online selection assessment. This is a written exercise designed to test your potential to be an inspector.    

Selection assessment 2

If you successfully complete the online assessment, you’ll be invited to attend an interview and to speak to your written exercise response on how you would give feedback.

If you’re successful at this stage, we’ll let you know and confirm next steps.  We’ll either confirm you’re the preferred candidate for a suitable vacancy (based on your specialism and location) or you’ll be invited to join our talent pool for future vacancies. 

We accept CVs from prospective inspectors throughout the year.  We will note your interest and will contact you during the next recruitment period, following your CV submission, to complete the online application form. We also have guidance available that may assist you in completing your CV:

For more information about our talent pool please see the FAQs below.

FAQs about inspector recruitment

What qualifications do I need to become an inspector?

To become an inspector, you must be registered with, or able to register, and hold a qualification that meets the registration requirements of one of these regulatory bodies:

  • Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
  • General Teaching Council (Scotland) (GTC)
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) 
  • General Medical Council (GMC) Health and Care Professions Council (applies to the following roles only: occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and practitioner psychologists)
  • Other equivalent professional bodies for the UK nations

Inspectors eligible to apply for registration with the SSSC must hold a suitable practice qualification at SCQF level 9. For more information on the list of suitable qualifications please see the section below.

Inspectors must also hold or undertake one of these appropriate regulator's awards:

  • Regulation of Care Award
  • PDA Scrutiny and Improvement Practice (Social Services) SCQF level 10

Qualifications that meet the Scottish Social Service Council’s (SSSC) registration requirements

Care inspectors eligible to apply for registration with the SSSC must hold a suitable practice qualification. 

Main practice qualifications

  • BA Childhood Practice
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Childhood Practice
  • BA Social Pedagogy (University of Aberdeen)
  • BA (Hons) Social Work (or equivalent)
  • PDA Childhood Practice at SCQF Level 9
  • SVQ Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF Level 9
  • SVQ Social Services (Children and Young People) at SCQF Level 9 

Qualifications also accepted

  • SVQ 4 Children's Care Learning and Development at SCQF Level 9
  • SVQ 4 Health and Social Care at SCQF Level 9

Qualifications that meet requirements of other regulatory bodies

  • A qualification meeting the registration requirements of the General Teaching Council (Scotland), Nursing and Midwifery Council or the General Medical Council.
  • A qualification meeting the registration requirements for the following professional groups regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council:
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Physiotherapists
    • Speech and Language Therapists
    • Practitioner Psychologists
  • Degree/Diploma in Community Education as recognised by the Standards Council for Community Learning and Development for Scotland Approvals Committee.

If your qualification does not appear on either of these lists, you can email the SSSC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide a copy of your qualification certificates.  The SSSC will confirm if your qualification meets the SSSC registration criteria.  Further information is also available on the SSSC website and can be accessed by following the link here.

What experience do I need to become an inspector

To become an inspector, we need you to have senior professional experience, expertise and knowledge of adult social care or health care, early learning and childcare or children and young people sectors.

You should also have experience of lead responsibility for complex professional practice through case management, managing people, projects or resources. We welcome applications from candidates with these professional backgrounds.


What support will I get to maintain my professional registration?

Maintaining your registration with your professional body is a core requirement for all inspectors.  To support this, we’ll provide you with access to a range of learning activities for your continuing professional and personal development.  Our learning management system automatically records all of your learning and we’ll support your re-validation with your professional body.  You’ll also participate in regular supervision and peer learning activities through our LEAD (learn, experience, achieve and development) performance and development process. 

All inspectors are also expected to undertake our Professional Development Award in Scrutiny and Improvement (Social Services) at SCQF level 10.

What is the salary and grade for the role of inspector?

The role is on an Inspector grade 7. Starting salaries are non-negotiable and all new staff start on the grade minimum for their role. Please see the current starting salary on the advert for the current recruitment campaign.

Following six months service, you will receive an annual increment on 1 April each year until you reach the top of the grade.

How much flexibility is there in terms of working hours and location?

Our inspectors work flexibly and you’ll work 140 hours over each four week period. This equates to 35 hours per week.

We have offices across Scotland and we support a range of flexible working arrangements including homeworking and hybrid working.

Once I apply, how long will it be before my application is considered?

We accept applications from prospective inspectors all throughout the year. We have two recruitment periods each year and your application will be considered during the next recruitment period, following your application submission. 

How long does the selection process take?

Our selection process is based on a two-stage assessment. Depending on the volume of applications we receive, we aim to complete each recruitment period within three months of the adverts closing date. Our recruitment team will communicate regularly throughout the recruitment period to ensure you’re up to date on the status of your application and you have all of the information you need to participate in our selection process.

What happens after I've been offered a role?

We’ll carry out pre-employment checks so we can confirm your offer of employment. These include:

  • proof of ID / right to work in the UK
  • two successful references, where one is from your current or most recent employer
  • a PVG check
  • occupational health questionnaire and referrals where appropriate
  • registration and qualifications check

Once all checks are complete, we’ll agree a start date and formally confirm your offer of employment by providing you with a contract outlining your terms and conditions.

I've been invited to join the inspector talent pool. What does this mean?

If you successfully complete our selection process, we’ll either confirm you’re the preferred candidate for a suitable vacancy (based on your specialism and location) or you’ll be invited to join our talent pool for future vacancies.

Our talent pool is our bank of candidates who have successfully completed the inspector selection process and are available to be appointed to suitable vacancies, based on their specialism and location.

As a member of our talent pool, you’ll be a valued candidate and we’ll:

  • monitor and identify suitable vacancies that we can offer you based on your specialism and location
  • share regular updates about our vacancies, recruitment plans and other relevant Care Inspectorate news.

You don’t need to reapply for future inspector vacancies for up to two years.

Unfortunately, depending on our vacancies, we may not always be in a position to offer a role to all talent pool candidates.

If you would like to chat to us about our recruitment process or a particular job, please get in touch with our HR team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more

About our roles

Recruitment banner about our roles

Our core roles

The Care Inspectorate employs 600 people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and they’re all amazing at what they do.

From inspection and improvement support specialists, to intelligence and digital specialists, and everyone in between – all are key to our work, championing high-quality care.  Find a career that will empower you to develop, collaborate and make a difference.  Together, we can change lives.

Read more about some of our roles and the work our teams do.

Scrutiny and Assurance

Our Scrutiny & Assurance teams provide independent assurance about the quality of care and support improvement and innovation.  Their role ensures the safety, protection and wellbeing of vulnerable children, adults and older people.  

The teams’ responsibilities are broad and include:

  • Early learning and childcare services
  • Children and young people’s services
  • Adult services
  • Registrations, variations and cancellations
  • Complaints
  • Inspection planning
  • Justice
  • Protection
  • Enforcement

Roles within Scrutiny and Assurance include:

  • Inspector
  • Strategic Inspector

Overview of inspector role

What do our inspectors do?

As one of our inspectors, you’ll be central to our work and have a challenging and rewarding role in championing high-quality care.

You’ll be responsible for managing your own workload and lead on these actions for the registered care services you work with.

  • Gathering and assessing intelligence and using your professional judgement to target scrutiny and improvement activities.
  • Planning and carrying out scrutiny activities.
  • Providing feedback to people experiencing care and service providers on the findings of scrutiny activities.
  • Signposting good practice to support continuous improvement.
  • Providing professional advice and guidance to support improvement and innovation.
  • Providing briefings for senior managers relating to specific events which impact on regulated care services.

Here’s what Hillary, one of our inspectors, says about her job.

There’s never been a better time to join us

It’s our job to ensure care for everyone, everywhere in Scotland is as good as it can be.  It’s a big job and we need your help!

This is an exciting time to join the Care Inspectorate.  You will have the opportunity to be at the heart of change and help shape the future of care for everyone.

We’re looking for talented people to join us to make a difference.  Specialists who understand how to put the needs and rights of children, young people, adults and older people in Scotland at the heart of delivering social care and how to lead improvement too.  

Now is the perfect time to come and join us.  We’ve recently changed our recruitment process and how we assess new people.  We’re looking to attract inspectors from a broader range of professional backgrounds.  So, if you are as passionate as us, and think a career in care could be right for you, read our FAQs here.

About you

As one of our inspectors, you’ll share our determination that care should work well for everyone, every time.  You’ll be confident about what good quality care looks like and how to deliver it.  Drawing on your resilience and adaptability, you’ll be able to work on your own initiative or as part of a team, managing competing priorities. You will apply your excellent analytical and writing skills to produce inspection reports that are clear, concise and focus on good outcomes for people.  Establishing effective relationships is vital for success in the role and you’ll be confident working with a wide range of people and building effective networks with partners. 

Based on your professional background, you’ll work in one of three specialist areas.

Adults services


As one of our adult inspectors, you’ll work in our inspection, complaints or registration teams, with services across the public, voluntary and private sectors.

You’ll work with people experiencing care, care service providers, managers and staff and be confident to support and advise on improvement.  You’re likely to have experience delivering improvement in a service, partnership working, applying good practice guidance and be able to respond to and manage change.

We're customer focused and treat complaints in an open, fair and objective way.  As a complaints inspector, you’ll be a good supportive listener who understands what is important to people and resolve complaints accurately and effectively.

Early learning and childcare (ELC) services


As one of our ELC inspectors, you’ll work in our inspection, complaints or registration teams, with services across the public and private sectors.

You’ll have recent experience supporting the delivery of high-quality care and learning for children and have significant knowledge of current developments and challenges within the sector.  You’ll work with children and families experiencing ELC services and service providers, managers and staff and be confident to support and advise on improved outcomes for children.  You’re likely to have experience delivering improvement in a service, partnership working, applying good practice guidance and be able to respond to and manage change.

Children and young people (CYP) services


As one of our CYP inspectors, you’ll work with services across the public, voluntary and private sectors.

You’ll have experience in assessment and critical analysis.  You will listen carefully to children, young people and their families to understand what is important to them, how they are experiencing care and support and the difference services are making to their lives.  You’ll work with care service providers, managers and staff and be confident to support and advise on improvement.  You’re likely to have experience delivering improvement in a service, partnership working, applying good practice guidance and be able to respond to and manage change.

We are a proud Corporate Parent with an ambitious plan to take forward our work.  We have a group of Young Inspection Volunteers (young people with lived experience of care) who support us with this and enhance and influence our work.  Inspectors work alongside our Young Inspection Volunteers in lots of ways and there are exciting and innovative plans to develop this partnership approach further.

Strategy and Improvement

Our Strategy and Improvement teams focus on helping to improve outcomes for people who use care services in Scotland.  They make sure that the voice of people using care, and their carers, is central to our work.  They also support the wellbeing of our staff so that staff are equipped with the right skills and support and feel motivated and confident to excel in their role. 

The teams’ responsibilities are broad and include:

  • Communications
  • Corporate Parenting
  • Improvement support
  • Information governance
  • Intelligence
  • Organisational and workforce development
  • Policy
  • Professional practice and standards

IT Transformation and Digital

Our IT, Transformation and Digital teams deliver our internal IT services.  They also develop our digital systems and business processes to support our scrutiny and assurance work.

The teams’ responsibilities include:

  • IT service delivery
  • Digital transformation
  • Business change

Corporate and Customer Services

The Corporate and Customer Services teams provide a range of core services which are central to our operations, and those of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), as part of a shared service agreement.

The teams’ responsibilities include:

  • Business and customer support
  • Contact centre
  • Estates, health and safety
  • Finance and corporate governance
  • Human resources
  • Legal

Read more

Thank you for your interest in this post

Thank you for your interest in this post. 

Unfortunately you do not meet the essential qualification and registration requirements for the role and we are unable to take your application any further at this stage. 

Read more

Organisational and Workforce Development (OWD) Adviser

Salary: £33,639-£37,167

Location: Flexible

Hours: 35 hours per week

Contract: Temporary post (12 months) to cover internal secondment


About the role

The Organisational and Workforce Development (OWD) Team are focused on supporting colleagues in their role to make a difference in the quality of care for Scotland. The team’s purpose is to work collaboratively to develop our organisation and its workforce to be the best and to do that with energy, drive and determination.

The OWD Team provides a wide range of support for developing our staff and the wider organisational culture.

This is a temporary opportunity to join our OWD team. The role holder will report to the Organisation and Workforce Development (OWD) Manager, supporting the delivery of OWD improvement projects and learning and development activities, as well as developing and consulting on people management policies. 

About you

The ideal candidate will be CIPD qualified, with significant experience of supporting the delivery of projects and strategies covering a broad range of people-related issues, encompassing OD, HR and learning and development.  In addition you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of key external developments and trends in OD/HR/L&D and the opportunities these offer to the organisation.

The role holder will be a strong communicator with excellent interpersonal and IT skills, together with the ability to manage conflicting priorities and work to tight deadlines.  Previous experience in a similar post would be ideal.   

To apply

You’ll find more information in the:

For an informal chat about the role please contact Kirstine Rankin, OWD Manager on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

If you believe that you are a suitable candidate for this post, please download and complete an application form, (and equal opportunities form where you are an external applicant) and submit it by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than 8am on Monday 31 May 2021.

The interviews will take place in the week commencing 7 June 2021.

Read more