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Care Inspectorate Scotland Inspection Explained

October 4, 2022
Table of contents

What is the Care Inspectorate inspection?

The Care Inspectorate’s inspections are responsible for assessing care agencies in Scotland and their service of care, they are both unannounced and announced. 

Their aim is to promote good practice, and to see which areas within a care agency needs to be improved; both by carrying out inspections themselves, and encouraging care agencies to self evaluate their own performance through a quality framework they provide.

What is the Care Inspectorate’s approach to inspection?

The Care Inspectorate carries out inspections themselves, and also encourages care agencies to self evaluate their own performance through a quality framework they provide. 

All care agencies are given this framework in order to help them assess their own care and services, and how they can improve. 

The self assessment was introduced by the care inspectorate to help encourage care agencies to assess their own performance, as they felt it was important that providers didn’t take action merely to satisfy the inspection process. 

Care providers will want to satisfy themselves, their boards and committees and the self evaluation process was an excellent way to ensure their care was consistently observed and improved.* 

What is the Care Inspectorate inspection quality framework?

The quality framework asks 6 questions. 

  1. How well do we support people’s wellbeing?

Which is ranked by a further four questions: 

  • How good is our leadership?
  • How good is our staff team?
  • How good is our setting? (not currently assessed for care at home)
  • How well is care and support planned?

When each of these have been evaluated, the 6th question “how can we improve?” is asked, and care agencies can then focus on writing up improvement plans. 

How does self-evaluation work?

So, how do care agencies go about digging deep and knowing how to answer those questions when it comes to self assessment? 

Each question has three or four quality indicators, so care services know exactly what the care inspectorate will be expecting, plus a toolbox, which can include practice documents, examples of good practice, and also what inspectors might be looking for.  

On top of this, the Care Inspectorate also provides a separate framework for that too, listing three questions they have to ask themselves for the five questions above: 

  1. How are we doing? - This is the first step to getting a better understanding of whether the people they support are experiencing high quality, safe care that meets their needs and priorities.  
  2. How do we know? - This question is then evaluated through evidence. It’s judged by the views of people experiencing care, and written quality indicators laid out by the Care Inspectorate to help care agencies see if they’re doing a good job. 
  3. What are we going to do now?- this is the final step, and allows care agencies to develop plans for improvements based on their findings. 

The Care Inspectorate’s introduction of the self assessment encourages care agencies to consistently assess their own standards of care, in order for them to ensure their care is in alignment with the Care Inspectorate’s quality framework.

All inspections are published, and are all viewable to read on their website for the general public. The reason for this, is that they strive for transparency and honesty throughout the inspection process. 

Birdie did a side by side comparison of the similarities and differences between the Care Inspectorate and the Care Quality Commission which can also be found here.

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