National Care Standards: Adoption Agencies: Revised March 2005

National Care Standards: Adoption Agencies: Revised March 2005 Edition

Annex B How the standards will work

How standards and regulations work together

The Act gives Scottish Ministers the power to publish standards which the Care Commission must take into account when making its decisions. It also gives Ministers the power to make regulations imposing requirements in relation to care services.

The standards will be taken into account by the Care Commission in making any decision about applications for registration (including varying or removing a condition that may have been imposed on the registration of the service).

All providers must provide a statement of function and purpose when they are applying to register their service. On the basis of that, the Care Commission will determine which standards will apply to the service that the provider is offering.

The standards will be used to monitor the quality of care services and their compliance with the Act and the regulations. If, at inspection, or at other times, for example, as a result of the Care Commission looking into a complaint, there are concerns about the service, the Care Commission will take the standards into account in any decision on whether to take enforcement action and what action to take.

If the standards were not being fully met the Care Commission would note this on the inspection report and require the agency to address this. The Care Commission could impose an additional condition on the agency's registration if the agency persistently, substantially, or seriously failed to meet the standards or breached a regulation.

If a voluntary or independent agency does not then meet the condition, the Care Commission could issue an improvement notice detailing the required improvement to be made and the timescale for this. Alternatively, the Care Commission could move straight to an improvement notice. The Care Commission would move to cancel the registration of any voluntary or independent agency if the improvement notice does not achieve the desired result. In extreme cases, for example where there is serious risk to a person's life, health or wellbeing, the Care Commission could take immediate steps to cancel the registration of a voluntary or independent agency without issuing an improvement notice.

If the Care Commission determines that the services provided by a local authority adoption agency are consistently failing to meet the standards, the Commission will bring this to the attention of the Scottish Executive.

Regulations must be followed. In some cases not meeting a regulation is an offence and the provider may be prosecuted. Breaking or not meeting any regulation is a serious matter.

Decisions by the Care Commission on what to do when standards or regulations are not met will take account of all the relevant circumstances and be proportionate.

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