People with experience of care are being encouraged to help Scotland’s social care watchdog, the Care Inspectorate, carry out its work.

 The Care Inspectorate inspects and regulates more than 14,000 care homes, nurseries and other vital care services across the country.  

And it is looking for people who have first-hand experience of care to help make sure care in Scotland continues to improve, by becoming an inspection volunteer.

Inspection volunteers are members of the public who use a care service, have used a care service in the past or care for someone like a family member or friend who has used a care service.   

Volunteers help the Inspectorate get the views of people using care services.

They work closely with the Care Inspectorate’s teams of specialist inspectors and together they help spot where things need to improve, help keep people safe and ensure that the rights of people receiving care are respected and their needs met.

The scheme is a crucial mechanism for supporting the involvement of people who are receiving care services. 

Welcoming the drive to recruit more inspection volunteers, Scotland’s Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, said: 

"Almost everyone in Scotland will use a care service at some point in their life and we all want to make sure care services are performing well. 

Michael Matheson discusses volunteer programme with care home resident“It is essential that we have a really rigorous inspection regime that spots problems early. 

"I am delighted that the Care Inspectorate is involving people who have personal experience of care in inspections, as they are best placed to truly understand it.

"I strongly encourage more people to get involved, sign up and use their experience to help make care for others become truly outstanding."

Inspection volunteers have a background of being a service user or family carer and that means they are well placed to communicate with people who have the same or similar experiences. They can also use their own experiences to add value to the inspection. 

They spend time with service users and carers during inspections and ensure the views of the service users and carers are reflected accurately in the inspection. 

Annette Bruton, the Care Inspectorate’s Chief Executive said: “We inspect care and social work services to make sure they are high quality and meet the needs of the people who use them. 

“We believe we can make care better by working with people who have personal experience of those services. 

“Our inspectors are experts by professional training and qualifications, but we want experts by experience too.

“We’re looking for people with a personal experience of care. 

“So, if you have used a care service, or cared for someone close who has used a care service, you could be just who we’re looking for. 

"You don’t have to have qualifications – your personal experience gives you a unique insight into care.”

Inspection volunteer Linda Riley got involved after her experiences of looking after her dad.

Linda said: “I am myself a service user, my dad had vascular dementia and I had to oversee his support and the same with mum who had cancer. 

“All of this experience good and bad made me want to do something that could make a difference for these very precious people who find themselves in the care of others.

“It makes a big difference, my eyes will follow a different path from the Care Inspectorate. 

“I will notice that no one is in the garden, that the television is on too loud and that no one is watching it, no one is being spoken to, the people are not dressed in the right way, on the other hand I saw a lovely picture the other week of a man beaming all over his face with his family around him. That was the sort of picture I am looking for.”



Keen to apply?  You can download this application form today.  

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 0345 6009527 for more information.