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How we inspect adult and childrens services

Information and guidance about how we inspect adult and children's services.

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

What we check and report

When our inspectors visit a service, they will generally consider four core themes:

  • Well-being
  • Care and support
  • Environment
  • Leadership and management

How often we inspect

The frequency of our inspections is set out within our Code of Practice.

We have two types of inspections: full and focused.

Full inspections

These are routine inspections, planned as part of our inspection schedule.

Full inspections take place approximately six months after a newly registered service becomes operational. After that, routine inspections follow the frequency set out within our Code of Practice.

Focused inspections

These normally happen when concerns are raised or to follow up on areas of improvement identified at previous inspections. These inspections may only look at some aspects of a service.

All inspections of accommodation-based services are unannounced. Inspections of all other regulated services are announced

Annual Return

More information about completing your Annual Return is available on our Submitting an Annual Return page.

Help for providers

Providers should read our Code of Practice. It outlines how we inspect services registered under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 (External link).

Under section 37 of the 2016 Act, Welsh Ministers can introduce regulations for ratings that may be given in relation to the quality of care and support provided by a service provider following an inspection. The Welsh Ministers aim to introduce these regulations in April 2024.

We have published draft guidance below for service providers setting out our phased approach to applying ratings to full inspections of care home services and domiciliary support services.

We have also produced inspection frameworks for each of the adult and children services we inspect against. These set out what we will consider within our inspections.