Social care: Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation


The Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation (IRISR) will look at how social care services are regulated and inspected across social care support services in Scotland. It will ensure scrutiny keeps up with an evolving landscape and changing skills required of the workforce. It will also consider the interactions with community health, and other services which support people.

IRISR will ensure a human rights and person-centred approach is central to the inspection and regulation of social care and will consider how this can be applied across linked services.

IRISR will also consider how regulation and inspection of social care and related services can deliver improved outcomes for people within a regulatory framework that meets the needs of the planned National Care Service (NCS).

The final scope of the NCS has not yet been defined, so for that reason the review has the option to explore all aspects of support and services that are outlined in the NCS Bill. The IRISR is not a review of the current regulatory and improvement organisations.

Chair and Vice-Chair

Dame Sue Bruce has been appointed as the Chair of the IRISR and will be supported in her role by Mr Stuart Currie who has been appointed as Vice Chair.


The review will be independent of the Scottish Government and will commence in October 2022 and culminate in the delivery of an independent report in June 2023.

The IRISR will:

  • explore how regulation and inspection of social care services and partners who contribute to care and wellbeing can be effectively supported to improve outcomes and experiences for the people of Scotland
  • ensure regulation, scrutiny and inspection of social care arrangements have a basis in human rights
  • ensure appropriate scrutiny of all aspects of the NCS

There will be an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement that will include a wide range of voices. This will help inform the findings of the review.

More information about the programme and how you can get involved will published shortly.

Advisory panels

The review will be supported by an Advisory Panel and a Practitioner and Stakeholder Panel appointed by the Chair. The panels will strengthen and assist the IRISR by providing specialist advice to inform any recommendations the Chair makes. The panels will include people with living and lived experience as well as those working in services.

Details of the advisory panels will be published shortly.

Terms of reference

The key aims are:

  • make recommendations as to how inspection, scrutiny and regulation of social care, and linked services, have a basis in human rights and trauma informed practice, is inclusive of people with lived and living experience and how best to ensure continuous improvement is standard practice
  • consider what the inspection, scrutiny and regulation of social care, and linked services landscape needs to look like to ensure it meets the requirements of the National Care Service (NCS)
  • consider how any new arrangements will meet the needs of and interface with services that are not part of the NCS
  • ensure that any new approach to inspection, scrutiny and regulation of social care, and linked services is future proofed and flexible
  • consider what data will be needed for regulation and improvement and how data sharing can be improved, standardised and tied into wider work considering the data requirements for the NCS in line with the UKGDPR
  • be inclusive of wide ranging engagement with stakeholders including people with lived and living experience and unpaid carers
  • consider if there is a need for an independent scrutiny body for inspection and regulation of social care and support services in Scotland similar to that of the Professional Standards Authority in England or otherwise, taking account of the reserved nature of professional regulation of the clinical professions.
  • complete the Independent Review and publish findings and make such recommendations you think appropriate across all considered areas and any other recommendations as you consider appropriate in accessible formats


The review will start in October 2022 and finish in June 2023 when the independent recommendations report will be published.

Secretariat and sponsorship agreements

Secretariat support for the Chair and Vice chair will be provided by the Regulation and Improvement Unit of Social Care and NCS Development Directorate.

Call for evidence and stakeholder engagement

The Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation (IRISR) have launched a call for evidence to explore how you think inspection and regulation can ensure social care support services can continually improve now and in the future.

Your views are essential to the success of the IRISR and to ensure we get the widest possible range of views, we will also be hosting a range of in person and virtual engagement events alongside the Call for Evidence.

You can submit your written views to the call for evidence and book to join the virtual or online events

An easy read version of the consultation is available.

If you require any of this information in an alternative format or if you have any questions please contact the IRISR Secretariat at

Alternative versions of this page

If you need this in a specific format please email

Easy read version

View the easy read version of this page.




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