Our inspections

We inspect services registered with us to check that they provide safe care.

We inspect services registered with us to check that they provide safe care. We also check that people’s rights are being respected and their quality of life enhanced.

Changing the way we inspect

We are making changes to the way we inspect. We have changed the way we inspect adult services, children’s homes and child care and play services. More information about the changes is available on our ‘Changing the way we inspect’ pages.

We are also developing new inspection frameworks for domiciliary care, fostering and adoption services in the future. For these services please use the existing inspection guidance.

We undertake a combination of full inspections and focused inspections which concentrate on the experiences of people receiving services and focused inspections which look in more detail at the way services are delivered.

  • Who we inspect

    • Care homes for adults - including those providing nursing care
    • Domiciliary care agencies
    • Adult placement schemes
    • Nurses’ agencies
    • Children’s homes
    • Child minders
    • Full day care
    • Out of school care
    • Day care services for under 12’s
    • Fostering agencies
    • Adoption agencies
    • Boarding schools
    • Residential family centres
    • Residential special schools
    • Further education colleges which accommodate students under 18

  • How we inspect

    Adult services, children’s homes, child care and play services and fostering services have their own inspection framework which we use when inspecting these services.

    Our new frameworks for domiciliary care and adoption services will be launched in the future. We use the existing inspection guidance for these services.

    Nearly all our inspections are unannounced with the exception of fostering and adoption agencies.  We also phone child minders and open access play services one week before we intend to inspect. This is to check their availability and operating times.

  • During the inspection

    Our inspectors will check the service being delivered in different ways. This may include:

    • Talking and listening to people using the service
    • Observing people using the service using the Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI) framework
    • Talking and listening to relatives of people using the service
    • Talking and listening to members of staff
    • Talking and listening to the manager and visiting professionals of the service
    • Reading relevant policies and records
    • Giving out questionnaires to people, professionals and relatives where appropriate
    • Looking at and reporting if a service is provided in Welsh without someone having to ask for it. This is known as the ‘Active offer’

  • After the inspection

    • The inspector may discuss their findings with the provider during or at the end of the inspection
    • The inspector will leave a post inspection feedback questionnaire with the provider on the day of the inspection
    • The inspector will write up findings from their visit in an inspection report. The report will be sent to the provider within 28 days after the inspection
    • The registered person providing the service will have up to 14 days to comment on the factual accuracy of the report. Amendments may be made in light of the comments we receive
    • The report (apart from child minders, children’s homes and residential family centres) is then published on our directory.

  • Feedback from providers

    We welcome feedback from providers. Please complete our online survey (External link) to help us improve the way we work. The survey should be completed by the most senior member of staff who was at the inspection.


Download documents

On this site

Changing the way we inspect

We are developing new inspection frameworks for the services we regulate and local authority social services inspections


Get involved

Find out how you can get involved with our work

Concerns about care? Please let us know if you have any concerns about us, a service, or a member of care staff. Raise a concern