How we are organised

We work in four teams: adults, children, justice and protection.

Each team is led by a service manager and we report through two chief inspectors to the Executive Director of Scrutiny and Assurance.

We are supported by a team of strategic support officers who provide support and co-ordination to all our scrutiny activities.

What we do

These are the core functions of the strategic inspection team.

  1. Carrying out strategic inspection work.
  2. Quality assurance functions – monitoring the completion and quality of:
  • Learning reviews (significant case reviews) in relation to children and adults.
  • Serious incident reviews (SIRs) in relation to people on community payback orders and people supervised on release from prison.
  • Investigations into the deaths of looked after children.

       3. Providing support to local authorities and partnerships through our link inspector role.

Who we work with

We know that outcomes for children and adults are affected by many factors.

Different services and organisations are involved in providing care and support to vulnerable children and adults and in most cases, social work services are planned and delivered in collaboration with partners.

We also understand that children and adults are all different, with a wide range of life circumstances and experiences.

For this reason, we do not carry out our scrutiny work in isolation but in partnership with children, adults and other organisations. This helps us to be confident that we are taking all relevant factors into account in our scrutiny work.

Inspection volunteers and people with lived experience

Wherever possible, we involve people with lived experience of using services, or of caring for someone who does, in our scrutiny work. We know that this keeps us grounded and often makes it easier for children and adults to share their experiences with us.

The Care Inspectorate has an involvement team that recruits and supports volunteers to work on inspections across our organisation, including strategic inspections. There is a specific team to support young people with experience of care services, between the ages of 18 and 26.

If you have lived experience of social work and social care services, or care for someone who does, and would like to know more about becoming involved in strategic inspections email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Associate assessors

Associate assessors are professionals from statutory and third sector organisations who work at a strategic level and have significant practice or management experience in services for children, adults or justice. They work as part of an inspection team for one inspection.

We believe that including associate assessors brings current practice perspectives to our strategic inspections. They can help ensure we are partnership-orientated and contribute to our understanding of the contemporary picture of service planning and delivery. At the same time, this involvement provides an ideal opportunity to help build capacity for joint self-evaluation and improvement in local partnerships.

Please check our frequently asked questions and code of practice for more information. 

Due to adjustments made for the Covid-19 pandemic, we are not currently recruiting associate assessors. However, if you are interested in becoming an associate assessor, please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will contact you when we are next recruiting.

Our scrutiny partners

Many of the functions of planning, delivering and monitoring services for children and young people and adults and older people are carried out by more than one agency or organisation. For example, through community justice partnerships, children’s services partnerships and health and social care partnerships. So, we often collaborate with these other scrutiny bodies.