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What we do

Building in Elementary Class with their Teacher stoc

We are the independent regulator of social care and childcare in Wales.

We register, inspect and take action to improve the quality and safety of services for the well-being of the people of Wales.

What we do

  • We carry out functions on behalf of Welsh Ministers to provide assurance on the quality and safety of services
  • We decide who can provide services
  • We inspect and drive improvement of regulated services and local authority social services
  • We undertake national reviews of social care services
  • We take action to ensure services meet legislative and regulatory requirements
  • We respond to concerns raised about social care and childcare services

Our core values

Our core values ensure people are at the heart of everything we do and aspire to be.

  • caring: we are compassionate and approachable
  • fair: we are consistent, impartial and inclusive
  • integrity: we are honest and trustworthy
  • professional: we are skilled, knowledgeable and innovative
  • respect: we listen, engage and value people

CIW core values badge

Our guiding principles

The way we work, in line with our values, is guided by the following principles:

  • putting people first
  • being intelligence-led
  • being risk-based and responsive
  • working collaboratively
  • supporting improvement and innovation
  • reflecting and learning

What each of our guiding principles means in practice is set out below.

Putting people first: the voice and well-being of people are at the heart of our work underpinned by a rights-based approach.

We champion people’s rights and seek feedback from people about their experience and the outcomes it helps them achieve. This includes people using social care and childcare services, their families and staff working in them.

We proactively seek feedback using social media campaigns and continue to encourage staff to speak up to share positive practice and issues of concern.

This informs our inspection planning and feeds into our wider intelligence gathering.

Being intelligence-led: our work is informed by data and intelligence.

We collate, analyse and share our data and intelligence. This informs our inspection activity and also enables us to understand trends and themes to inform the wider Welsh Government and partner approaches.

Being risk based and responsive: we take a planned, risk based, proportionate and timely approach to our work.

We prioritise inspection activity based on analysis of risk. This ensures we are proportionate in securing improvement where it is needed most.

Working collaboratively: we listen, share information and work collaboratively.

We recognise the importance of positive relationships and trust. Through our regular meetings with Welsh Government, local authorities, health boards and representative groups we will share information about what is working well and concerns. Coordination of activity will help to reduce duplication for social care and childcare services.

We also work collaboratively with other inspectorates to develop inspection activity that takes a systems approach, recognising the importance of all parts of the system working well together.

Supporting improvement and innovation: we use our knowledge and powers to support social care and childcare services to improve and encourage new ways of working.

We actively communicate to share learning and positive practice.

Reflecting and learning: we take time to reflect and learn from all aspects of our work, and to adjust our approach where necessary.

Across all areas of our work, we have adapted to new and flexible ways of working and will continue to test new ways of working. We will seek feedback from key stakeholders about what is working well and where we can improve.

Services we regulate and inspect

We regulate the following services:

  • adult services: care homes for adults, domiciliary support services, adult placement services and residential family centre services
  • children’s services: care homes for children, fostering services, adoption services, advocacy services and secure accommodation services
  • childcare and play services: child minders, crèches, full day care, sessional day care, out of school care and open access play provision

We also review the performance of local authorities in delivery of social services functions. We carry this out through a combination of inspection and performance evaluation activity. In addition, we inspect:

  • local authority fostering and adoption services
  • boarding schools
  • residential special schools (boarding arrangements under 295 days)
  • further education colleges accommodating students under 18

How we carry out our functions

Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (External link) which gives powers to review the way in which local authorities discharge their social services functions

Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”) (External link) which gives powers to register and/or inspect providers of social care services in Wales.

Part 2 of the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 (External link) which gives powers to register and/or inspect childminders and day care (including play) for children under 12.