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Regulation and inspection of social care in the UK

Regulation of social care services makes sure that care offered to vulnerable people is safe and compassionate. Let's take a closer look.
Senior female care home resident in wheelchair smiling alongside her female careworker
Each of the four UK nations has at least one Regulatory Body that oversees the provision of care services.

Most social care services are inspected by the Regulatory Bodies who check that the national standards are being met.

  • Ofsted inspects children’s homes and foster care services in England
  • Care Inspectorate Wales inspects care services for adults and children in Wales
  • The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority inspect services for adults and children in Northern Ireland
  • The Care Quality Commission inspect most adult care services in England
  • The Care Inspectorate inspects adult and children’s care services in Scotland.

Inspectors from the Regulatory Body check social care services against a set of national standards. Each nation and each social care service has a slightly different set of standards but they all cover aspects such as:

  • How the service is keeping people safe
  • How the service involves people in decisions about their own care
  • How the service recruits, trains and supports staff
  • How the service promotes independence, respects the dignity of an individual and ensures their wellbeing.

Services will receive a grade according to the findings and may be required to make changes if the care is not satisfactory.

Over to you…

Look at the different Regulatory Body websites (you can find the links in the See Also section) and try to find a set of standards for the work that interests you.

In addition, there are Sector Skills Councils that offer guidance and standards for social care practice and National Occupational Standards that form the basis of qualifications.

Look at the standards for care workers in your nation and think about how you might demonstrate the skills and behaviours they describe.

Be sure to share your findings in the Comments below.

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