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.


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Adults Inspector & Complaints Inspector

JOINUS 1

Join us and make a difference – for you, for everyone

It’s our job to ensure care for everyone, everywhere in Scotland is as good as it can be.  If you are as passionate about high-quality care as we are, and you’re experienced in your field, we’d love to hear from you. We are looking for talented people to join us in making a difference.

About you

You’ll have a background in the care of adults and/or older people and will have significant knowledge of current developments and challenges within the sector.  You may also have experience in resolving and managing complaints.  With your expertise in adult services, you’ll share our determination that care services should work well for people – every time.

We’re currently recruiting for vacancies in our inspection, complaints and triage teams.  We welcome applications from candidates across Scotland and particularly candidates in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Hamilton, Dumfries, Dundee and Aberdeen.

We are different because of our great benefits, our investment in learning and development, and above all, giving you the opportunity to help shape care in Scotland.

What you will be doing as an inspector

Making a difference through working with services delivering adult and older people care. You’ll work with people experiencing care, care service providers, managers and staff and be confident in supporting and advising on improvement.

Click here to watch a short video of what one of our existing inspectors says about their role.

The skills you need

If you think this job is where you can make a real difference to people’s lives, there are a few things you need. Whilst it’s important to have the basics, we will support you in developing your skillset throughout your journey with us.

You’ll be confident about what good-quality care looks like and how to deliver it across adults and older people services. You’ll be resilient and adaptable, able to work on your own initiative or as part of a team, manage competing priorities, build effective networks with partners, and have strong communication skills. Equally, you’ll be good at analysing information and evidence, and you’ll have excellent writing skills to produce reports that are clear, concise, and focused on outcomes.

We need you to have a relevant qualification (minimum SCQF Level 9) and be registered or eligible to register with a professional body like the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or General Teaching Council (GTC).

Salary and benefits

  • Salary:£42,528 - £47,034 plus excellent benefits
  • Network of offices across Scotland, and opportunities to work from home through our hybrid working model
  • Flexible Hours: 140 hours to be worked over a 4-week period
  • Up to 37 days annual leave (after 5 years service) + 6 fixed public holidays
  • Contract: Permanent, two-year secondment or locum.

In addition to our excellent benefits package, we also pride ourselves on the values we hold, person-centred; fairness; respect; efficiency and integrity - all supported with a culture of care and kindness.  We’re proud to be a progressive, supportive employer, and equality, diversity and inclusion are important to us.

This is an exciting time to join the Care Inspectorate, with an opportunity to be at the heart of change as we consider the impact of the independent care review.  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 and now is the perfect time to come and join us.

What next?

You can find more information in the job profile and person specification or click here to find out more on our careers site. You can also contact the HR team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

If you’re ready to apply now, please complete the gateway questions to access the application form.  Your application should be submitted no later than 8am on Monday 20 September 2021.

We accept applications for inspectors throughout the year and recruit three times a year.  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.

Apply now


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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 deliver a presentation.

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

Apply now

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:

  • Social 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.

table

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?

Within our current grading structure, the role of inspector is grade 7. The salary scale for grade 7 roles ranges from £42,954 to £47,505. Starting salaries are non-negotiable and all new staff start on the grade minimum for their role. For inspectors this is £42,954.

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 three recruitment periods each year and your application will be considered during the next recruitment period, following your application submission. For 2021, the dates for our next recruitment period are:

End September: Shortlisting
October: Selection stage 1
November: Selection stage 2

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. Our HR team will share regular updates 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?

  • 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

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..


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Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Inspector

JOINUS 2

Join us and make a difference – for you, for everyone

It’s our job to ensure care for everyone, everywhere in Scotland is as good as it can be.  If you are as passionate about high-quality care as we are, and you’re experienced in the field, we’d love to hear from you. We are looking for talented people to join us in making a difference.

About you

You’ll have recent experience of supporting the delivery of high-quality care and learning for children and will have significant knowledge of current developments and challenges within the sector.  With your expertise in ELC, including school age childcare and childminding, you’ll share our determination that care services should work well for people – every time.

We’re currently recruiting for vacancies in our inspection teams.  We welcome applications from candidates across Scotland and in particular candidates in Dundee, Dumfries, Borders, Lothian, Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire.

We are different because of our great benefits, our investment in learning and development, and above all, giving you the opportunity to help shape care in Scotland.

What you will be doing as an inspector

Making a difference through working with services delivering care and learning for children. You’ll work with children and families experiencing ELC services, service providers, managers and staff and be confident in supporting and advising on improving outcomes for children.

Click here to watch a short video of what one of our existing inspectors says about their role.

The skills you need

If you think this job is where you can make a real difference to people’s lives, there are a few things you need. Whilst it’s important to have the basics, we will support you in developing your skillset throughout your journey with us.

You’ll be confident about what good-quality care looks like and how to deliver it across early learning & childcare. You’ll be resilient and adaptable, can work on your own initiative or as part of a team, manage competing priorities, build effective networks with partners, and have strong communication skills. Equally, you’ll be good at analysing information and evidence, and you’ll have excellent writing skills to produce reports that are clear, concise, and focused on outcomes.

We need you to have a relevant qualification (minimum SCQF Level 9) and be registered or eligible to register with a professional body like the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or General Teaching Council (GTC).

Salary and benefits

  • Salary:£42,528 - £47,034 plus excellent benefits
  • Network of offices across Scotland, and opportunities to work from home through our hybrid working model
  • Flexible Hours: 140 hours to be worked over a 4-week period
  • Up to 37 days annual leave (after 5 years service) + 6 fixed public holidays
  • Contract: Permanent, two-year secondment or locum.

In addition to our excellent benefits package, we also pride ourselves on the values we hold, person-centred; fairness; respect; efficiency and integrity - all supported with a culture of care and kindness. We’re proud to be a progressive, supportive employer, and equality, diversity and inclusion are important to us.

This is an exciting time to join the Care Inspectorate, with an opportunity to be at the heart of change as we consider the impact of the ELC expansion.  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 and now is the perfect time to come and join us.

What next?

You can find more information in the job profile and person specification or click here to find out more on our careers site. You can also contact the HR team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

If you’re ready to apply now, please complete the gateway questions to access the application form. Your application should be submitted no later than 8am on Monday 20 September 2021

We accept applications for inspectors throughout the year and recruit three times a year.  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.

Apply now


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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. 


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