Our inspections

Inspector with children at nursery

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

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

Reference to ‘Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales’ (CSSIW) in the documents on this page should be read as ‘Care Inspectorate Wales'.

Who we inspect

  • Care home services -including those who provide care home services for children or adults
  • Domiciliary support services - a service that can provide care in your own home as well as general support
  • Residential family centre services
  • Secure accommodation services
  • Adult placement services
  • Child minders
  • Full day care
  • Out of school care
  • Day care services for under 12’s
  • Fostering  services
  • Adoption  services
  • Boarding schools
  • Residential special schools
  • Further education colleges which accommodate students under 18

How we inspect

Code of Practice

The Code of Practice outlines how we inspect services registered under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016. (External link) Although the Code does not apply to the inspection of childcare and play services or local authority social services, we use the principles of the Code when we inspect these services.

Inspection frameworks

To support a consistent approach to the inspection process, we have developed inspection frameworks that focus on outcomes and what good looks like. Care home services, fostering services and child care and play services have their own inspection framework which we use when inspecting these services.

For all other services we use existing inspection guidance.

Nearly all our inspections are unannounced with the exception of fostering and adoption services.  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 children’s homes) is then published on our directory.
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