Social care - Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation: recommendation report

The Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation (IRISR) of social care support in Scotland: recommendation report provided by Dame Sue Bruce. The IRISR explored how social care support and linked services are inspected, scrutinised and regulated in Scotland.

12. Definition of key words and phrases


The practice of making information, activities, opportunities, services and environments as fairly, equally, meaningfully and usable for as many people as possible regardless of their circumstances.

Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

The purpose of the Act is to provide for decisions to be made on behalf of adults who lack legal capacity to do so themselves because of mental disorder or inability to communicate. The decisions concerned may be about the adult’s property or financial affairs or about their personal welfare, including medical treatment.

Call for Evidence

A call for evidence is an information-gathering exercise that seeks expertise from people (members of the public and professionals), organisations and individuals with knowledge of a particular issue.

Care Act 2014

This Act contains provisions which reform the law relating to care and support for adults and carers. It also makes provision about safeguarding adults from abuse or neglect, about care standards, about integrating care and support with health services and it establishes, and makes provision about, the Health Research Authority.

Care Home Data Review (CHDR)

The CHDR is a collaboration between Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland and Care Inspectorate which commenced in late 2022. The review is considering improvements around the content, quality and frequency of current data collections, and alternative methods of data collection and aims to ensure a coherent suite of data collections, reduce the burden on data providers and meet the existing and emerging needs of data users.

Care Home Review

A rapid review established to identify the characteristics and risk factors of outbreaks in, and the transmission of, Covid-19 in care homes in Scotland. The review identified contributory factors and root causes and produced high-level recommendations to support quality improvement in the safe management of care for residents within care homes across Scotland.

Care Inspectorate (CI)

The Care Inspectorate is the regulatory body for care services in Scotland. It regulates a range of care and support services including child minding, child day care, adult day care, care homes, care at home and housing support services. The CI also carries out regular comprehensive inspections of all care providers in Scotland. In addition, the CI is a scrutiny body which supports improvement. This means that it looks at the quality of care in Scotland to ensure that it meets high standards. Where it finds that improvement is needed, the CI supports services to make positive changes. By law, all care providers in Scotland must be registered with the CI.

Care Pathways

A care pathway is a plan for patient care that manages patient care from the beginning to the end of treatment in a focused, comprehensive and integrated way. It is a way of setting out a process of best practice to be followed in the treatment of an individual with a particular condition or with particular needs. It will map out the care journey an individual can expect, should be multi-professional, crossing organisational boundaries and can act as a prompt for care. It can also create a consistent standard of documentation which will provide the basis for ongoing audit.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It monitors, inspects and regulates services and publishes its findings. In doing so, it ensures that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care while encouraging care services to improve.


A carer is anyone who looks after a family member, or a friend, who requires their help and support. This could be caring for a child, parent, sibling, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems. The care they provide is unpaid.

Charter of Rights and Responsibilities

This will set out people’s rights and responsibilities when accessing NCS support and provide a clear pathway to make a complaint if their rights are not met or respected.

Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill

This Bill intends to change the law by improving the court process in contact and residence cases. Contact and residence cases decide the living and visiting arrangements for children. It also covers contact and residence cases of children when parents are no longer together. It also covers changes to aspects of the Children’s Hearings system.

Code of Practice for Social Workers and Employers

This sets out the responsibilities of employers in the regulation of social care work at a national level. The Code sets out a list of statements outlining the standards of professional conduct and practice which are expected of social care workers.


Co-design is a collaborative process with individuals specifically within the design development process to ensure the results meet their needs and are usable.

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for Scotland, England and Wales

The CITB is the industry training board for the construction sector in England, Scotland and Wales. It is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Education, which is accountable to government ministers and, ultimately, to Parliament.

Digital exclusion

Digital exclusion is experienced by those who do not have access to an appropriate digital device, an affordable or reliable internet connection or the right skills to be able to use digital tools.

Digital Scotland Service Standard (formerly Digital First)

The Digital Scotland Service Standard is a set of 14 criteria that all organisations delivering public services should work towards. The standards are based around three themes: meeting users’ needs, providing a service and using the right technology.

Digital strategy

The Digital Strategy is a cross-government strategy which sets out a coherent articulation of the government’s ambitious agenda for digital policy.

Disclosure Scotland

Checks and shares information about people’s criminal records. In doing so, it helps employers make safer decisions when recruiting people. It also makes sure that unsuitable people do not work with vulnerable groups, including children and protected adults.

Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020

This Act sets out the legislative framework to modernise and improve the proportionality of the disclosure system in Scotland. It focuses on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, while balancing the need for people with convictions to move on from past convictions and contribute to society.

Drug and Alcohol Information System (DAISy)

DAISy is a national database developed to collect drug and alcohol referral, waiting times and outcome information from staff delivering specialist drug and alcohol interventions. This data provides a better understanding of the impact of drug/alcohol treatment services at both a local and national level and consequently facilitates improvements in service planning and delivery.

Duty of Candour

The Organisational Duty of Candour is a statutory (legal) duty placed upon Scottish organisations providing health and social care. They have a duty to be open and honest when something goes wrong that is not related to the course of the condition for which the person is receiving care. This means that when unintended or unexpected events happen that result in death or harm, the people affected should understand what has happened and receive an apology. The intention of this duty is to improve professional practice, patient and user service and public confidence.

Duty of Candour Procedure (Scotland) Regulations 2018

These Regulations set out the procedure to be followed by organisations providing health, care and social work services when there has been an unintended or unexpected incident that results in death, harm or additional treatment.

Early Learning and Childcare (ELC)

This term describes the full range of early childhood education for children under school age in Scotland.

Equality Act 2010

This Act has two main purposes: to harmonise discrimination law and to strengthen the law to support progress on equality.

Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland (EHRC Scotland)

The EHRC is an independent statutory body responsible for encouraging equality and diversity, eliminating unlawful discrimination and protecting and promoting the human rights of everyone in Britain.

Ethical commissioning

In relation to the procurement process within social care services, ethical commissioning operates a person-centred care first/human rights approach which ensures that strategies focus on high quality care. This includes fair work practices which encourage the development of a quality, sustainable and appropriately valued work force; climate and circular economy considerations in Scottish Government’s service footprint to support a just transition to net zero; financial transparency and commercial viability of any outsourced services; full involvement of people with lived and living experiences throughout; putting the person at the centre of making the choice and a shared accountability between all partners and individuals involved in delivery.


A set of beliefs or ideas about the social behaviour and relationships of a person or group.

Fair Work in Social Care Implementation Group (FWSCIG)

Formerly known as the Social Care Living Wage Implementation Group, the FWSCIG aims to improve the working experience of those in the adult social care workforce. The group’s membership comprises representatives from Scottish Government, COSLA, Integration Authorities, third and independent sector providers and the Scottish Trade Union Congress. The group focuses on the implementing the recommendations outlined in the Fair Work Convention Report.

Fair Work Principles

The concept of Fair Work balances the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees. It aims to offer everyone an effective voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect.

Future Proofing Programme (FPP)

This programme brings together the SSSC’s work on modernising their Register, qualifications and skills and the SSSC Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers (the Codes). The FPP aims to make registration with the SSSC simple, easy to understand and inform people about the benefits and value of being registered as well as the skills, standards and qualifications needed to deliver high quality care.

The FPP is expected to conclude in 2024.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

The GDPR is a regulation in EU law which controls how personal information is collected and processed by organisations, businesses or the government. The UK Government implemented the GDPR in The Data Protection Act 2018.

General Medical Council (GMC)

The GMC maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the UK. It is a public body whose aim is to “protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public” by controlling entry to the register and suspending or removing members as appropriate.

General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)

The GTCS is the teaching profession’s independent registration and regulation body. It is a legal requirement for all those employed as teachers in Scottish schools, along with college lecturers, to be registered with the GTCS.

GIRFEC (Getting It Right for Every Child)

GIRFEC is the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide all children, young people and their families with the right support at the right time in order that every child and young person in Scotland can reach their full potential. GIRFEC provides Scotland with a consistent framework and shared language for promoting, supporting, and safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people. It is the national approach in Scotland to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people. It supports them and their parent(s) to work in partnership with the services that can help them.

Health and Social Care Partnerships

Health and Social Care Partnerships, (HSCPs) are organisations which integrate services provided by Health Boards and Councils in Scotland. They are statutory bodies and each of the 31 HSCPs is jointly run by the NHS and respective local authority. All are responsible for adult social care, adult primary care and unscheduled adult hospital care – some also take responsibility for children’s services, homelessness and criminal justice social work.

Health and Social Care Standards: My support, My life

The standards set out what people should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland and aim to provide better outcomes while ensuring that human rights are observed and everyone is treated with respect and dignity.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS)

HIS’ focus is to reduce healthcare associated infection risk to hospital patients, to improve the care of elderly patients and to regulate independent healthcare services through an inspection framework.

Healthcare Support Workers (HCSWs)

This term describes the wide range of staff whose work supports the delivery of care and services across health and social care organisations, e.g. healthcare assistants, nursing assistants, theatre support workers and maternity support workers amongst many others.

Human Rights Bill

The Bill will give domestic effect to a wide range of internationally recognised human rights within the limits of devolved competence. Incorporating international human rights standards and obligations into the domestic legal framework is expected to further the protection of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights for the people of Scotland.

Hybrid approach

The combination of two or more methods or techniques that provide more advantages than each by itself.

Independent Living Fund Scotland (ILF Scotland)

The ILF Scotland is a Non-Departmental Public Body which provides funding and support to help disabled people in Scotland live independently.

Independent review

An independent review is commissioned by a government to carry out a formal yet impartial examination of a particular matter in order to establish whether or not it can be improved.


The checking or evaluation of an organisation against established standards. In respect of social care, inspections are carried out for the purpose of determining if a body is complying with the regulations which govern it.

Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS)

IRISS is a charity that supports people, workers and organisations in social work and social care to help them use knowledge and innovation to make positive change happen.

Intersectional barriers

This describes the ways in which systems of inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class and other forms of discrimination meet to expose an individual to overlapping forms of discrimination and marginalisation.

Linked services

Linked services in respect of social care refer to the co-ordination and collaboration between different organisations and agencies involved in providing social care support to individuals and communities with an aim to improving the overall quality of care, promoting wellbeing and ensuring the efficient use of resources.

Lived experience

This is a term which describes a particular experience that a person has lived through.

Living experience

This term describes someone’s experience and perspective gained from the circumstances in which they are currently living their life.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

An MoU is an agreement, between two or more parties, which is outlined in a formal document. It is not a legally binding document, instead, it sets out the scope, purpose, intentions and expectations of the parties with regard to their working relationship. It is the written version of a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’.

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

This Act replaces the 1984 Act and restates and amends the law relating to people living with a mental health issue. It establishes new arrangements for the detention, care and treatment of such people. It also refines the role and functions of the Commission and establishes the Tribunal as the principal forum for approving and reviewing compulsory measures for the detention, care and treatment of people living with a mental health issue.

Mental Welfare Commission

The Mental Welfare Commission is a non- departmental public body which is responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of people in Scotland who have a learning disability or a mental health issue.

National Care Service (NCS)

The IRASC recommended the establishment of a National Care Service, with Scottish Ministers being accountable for the delivery of consistent and high standards in health and social care services. The Scottish Government is committed to delivering a National Care Service by the end of this parliamentary term that will ensure the quality, fairness and consistency of provision of social care services meets individuals’ needs, regardless of where they live in Scotland.

National Care Service (Scotland) Bill

The Bill aims to create a National Care Service and improve the quality of social work and social care services in Scotland by ensuring that these services are offered in the same way and to the same standard throughout Scotland.

National Performance Framework (NPF)

The NPF is Scotland’s wellbeing framework. It sets out five strategic objectives and 11 national outcomes. Scottish Government uses the framework to set priorities, plan, allocate funds and monitor progress and performance.

‘Near Me’

‘Near Me’ is a video consulting service that enables people to attend appointments from home or wherever is convenient. The service is widely used across NHS Scotland for health and care appointments.

NHS Education for Scotland (NES)

NES is an education and training body and a national health board within NHS Scotland. It is responsible for developing and delivering healthcare education and training for the NHS, health and social care sector and other public bodies. It participates in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional development.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

The NMC is the independent regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK (and for nursing associates in England).

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)

OSCR is the independent Regulator and registrar for Scotland’s charities, including community groups, religious charities, schools, universities, grant- giving charities and major care providers. There are currently 25,324 charities registered with OSCR.

PANEL Principles

Adopting a human rights-based approach is about making sure that people’s rights are placed at the very centre of policies and practices. The PANEL principles are one way of breaking down what this means in practice. The principles are Participation, Accountability, Non-Discrimination, Empowerment and Legality.

Personal Assistant (PA)

A Personal Assistant is someone who is employed directly by an individual to support them to live independently by means of SDS.

Power of attorney

A power of attorney is a document which gives someone else the permission and authority to make decisions about your money and property as well as your health and personal welfare. It provides an individual with the opportunity to set out they want to happen in the future, or immediately, should they no longer be able to look after their own affairs. As a power of attorney gives legal authority for someone else to act on your behalf, it is important to take advice from a solicitor when completing one.

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, England

An independent organisation, accountable to the UK Parliament which helps to protect the public through its work with organisations that register and regulate people working in health and social care. Its reports help Parliament monitor and improve the protection of the public. The Health and Social Care Committee uses the Authority’s performance reviews to question the regulators about their work.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG)

This scheme is managed by Disclosure Scotland and aims to protect children and protected adults by preventing unsuitable people from working in regulated areas of work.

Public Bodies (Joint Working) Scotland Act 2014

This Act provides the framework which supports the improvement of the quality and consistency of health and social care services in Scotland. The framework requires the integration of certain local authority services with health services. The Act also provides for NHS Scotland to provide goods and services to public bodies, including local authorities. It also allows the Scottish Ministers to form a wider range of joint venture structures, and to form joint ventures for a wider range of purposes, in order to make the most effective use of resources.

Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018

The Regulations aim to ensure public sector websites and mobile apps are accessible to all users, especially those with disabilities. All new public sector websites must meet accessibility standards and publish an accessibility statement which must make clear the level of accessibility across the site or app. Where there are barriers, the statement must provide alternative routes of access and enable users to contact the website owner if they identify any issues.

Public Sector Reform (Scotland) Act 2010

The purpose of this Act is to simplify and streamline the public bodies landscape in Scotland to deliver improved public services and better outcomes for the people of Scotland. Amongst other things, it created Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland which now operates under the name of the Care Inspectorate. It also established Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Putting Learners at the Centre: Towards and Future Visions for Scottish Education (The Muir Review)

This Report focuses on the replacement of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, reform of Education Scotland and removal of its inspection function. Its recommendations place children, young people and those teachers and practitioners who support their learning more firmly at the heart of the education system and aim to establish a revised infrastructure that begins to simplify the landscape and ensures all teachers and practitioners have greater clarity as to the roles and functions of key national bodies.


Qualitative data is descriptive and relates to events which can be observed but not measured (such as language, images and sounds). The focus is on exploring subjective experiences, opinions and attitudes through observation and interviews. The aim of qualitative research is to uncover new insights and meaning.


Quantitative data is information about quantities, and therefore numbers which is analysed using statistical methods. The aim is to produce objective, empirical data that can be measured and expressed in numerical terms. Quantitative research is often used to test hypotheses, identify patterns and make predictions.

Regulated Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) (Wales) Regulations 2017

These Regulations set out the requirements for service providers, in Wales, in relation to the standards of care to be provided in to care homes, secure accommodation, residential family centre and domiciliary support services. The aim is to ensure high standards of care for all service users.


The control of an activity or process, usually by means of rules. In respect of social care, the purpose of regulation is to protect the public from the risk of harm which may result from the provision of social care support services.

Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

The main aim of the Act is to improve standards of social care services. The Act meant that far more care services and staff came under scrutiny and had to conform to established standards. Failure of a care service or an individual to comply with the act and associated regulations means they can be de- registered and no longer able to provide services.


A regulator is a person or body with functions under legislation relating to the regulation of a regulated profession. Regulators carry out a range of functions in relation to the professions they regulate, including making sure individuals have the necessary qualifications and/or experience to practise the profession and taking any necessary enforcement action. In some cases, these functions are carried out by a single regulator for an individual profession and in other cases the functions are distributed across several regulators. Regulators include bodies to which regulatory functions have been delegated, where the delegation is authorised by legislation and irrespective of whether the regulator is specified in the legislation.

School Age Childcare (SAC)

This comprises a range of organised age-appropriate structured programmes, clubs and activities for school-aged children and young people (between the ages of 4 and 18 years) which takes place within supervised environments outside of school hours.

Scotland Act

This Act provides for the establishment of a Scottish Parliament and Administration. It sets out changes in the constitution and functions of certain public authorities along with other connected purposes such as legislative competence, tax raising powers and other devolution issues.

Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce

The Taskforce was established to provide independent expert advice and guidance on how to tackle the challenge of deaths attributed to drugs.

Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR)

The SHR is a non-ministerial department responsible for regulating social housing in Scotland. It has a statutory objective to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants living in homes provided by social landlords, homeowners who receive services from social landlords and local authorities and Gypsy/ Traveller families who use official sites provided by social landlords. In addition, the SHR holds a Register of all social landlords in Scotland.

Scottish Housing Regulator’s (SHR) Tenant Advisor Panel

The SHR regulates social housing in Scotland to protect the interests of people who receive the services of social landlords. Tenant Advisors are tenants of either Registered Social Landlords or Local Authorities, who volunteer to participate in the regulation work of the SHR.

Scottish Mental Health Law Review Final Report

The main aim of the review was to improve the rights and protections of people subject to mental health, incapacity or adult support and protection legislation, in line with developments in international human rights standards.

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)

The SSSC is responsible for registering people who work in the social services and regulating their education and training.

Scottish Social Services Council Codes of Practice

The Codes set out the national standards of conduct and practice that apply to everyone who works in social services in Scotland. They also outline the standards expected of employers of social service workers in Scotland.


The process of careful and detailed observation or examination of something.

Self-Directed Support (SDS)

Anyone who is eligible for social care support is entitled to exert choice and control over how they receive services. Accordingly, care services can be adjusted to fit their needs and wants. There are four options to choose from:

  • option 1 – a direct payment, which is a payment to a person or third party to purchase their own support;
  • option 2 – the person directs the available support;
  • option 3 – the local council arranges the support; and
  • option 4 – a mix of the above.

A budget will be provided and the individual may use it to fund their care as they choose.

Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (Requirements for Care Services) Regulations 2011

These Regulations set out requirements which must be complied with by providers of care services. The aim is to ensure that care services provide good quality care and support in a way which promotes quality and safety

Social Care (Self-Directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013

This Act makes legislative provisions relating to the arranging of care and support (“community care services” and “children’s services”) in order to provide a range of choices to individuals as to how they are to be provided with their support.

Social Care Support

Social care support is about supporting people to live independently; to be active citizens; to participate and contribute to our society and to maintain their dignity and human rights.

Social Care Support Services

Services include all forms of personal and practical support for children, young people and adults who need extra support, for example, the provision of care at home, placement in residential or care homes and supporting unpaid carers to help them continue in their caring role.


Stakeholder refers to individuals, groups or organisations who have an interest in the policy or action being proposed or are impacted by it.

Stakeholder engagement

This is a process that organisations follow in order to listen to, collaborate with, or inform (or a combination of all three) their existing stakeholders when developing new policies.

Technology Enable Care (TEC) Programme

The TEC Programme is part of the Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Care Directorate and is guided by the overarching Digital Health and Care Strategy. The programme focuses on citizen-facing digital solutions where outcomes for individuals in home or community settings are improved through the application of technology as an integral part of quality, cost effective care and support to look after more people at home.

The Crerar Review

This review considered how Scotland’s systems of regulation, audit, inspection and complaints handling for public services could be improved. It made proposals for improvements to the complaints handling system to give the public better access to redress and scrutiny and recommended a system of complaints handling for all public services with the SPSO taking responsibility for its implementation and oversight.

The Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland (IRASC)

The principal aim of the IRASC was to recommend improvements to adult social care in Scotland. The review recommended the creation of the National Care Service, amongst other things.

The Promise

The Promise is that Scotland’s care experienced children and young people will grow up loved, safe and respected and is built upon five foundations: family, voice, care, people and scaffolding. The Promise Scotland is an organisation that exists to support Scotland in keeping its promise to care experienced people.

The Scottish Drugs Deaths Taskforce Final Report: Changing Lives

The Taskforce was established to provide independent expert advice and guidance on how to tackle the challenge of deaths attributed to drugs. This Report outlines a suite of evidence-based recommendations and actions to reduce drug-related deaths and harms and improve and save the lives of people who use drugs were made.

Third Sector

This term describes organisations that are non- governmental and not-for-profit. They are socially focussed and operate within the voluntary, community and charitable fields.


The UK General Data Protection Regulation refers to the legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the United Kingdom. It is a set of rules and guidelines designed to ensure the privacy and security of individuals’ data.



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