Care Guides > The Role of the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) In Social Care

The Role of the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) In Social Care

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The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) is the independent regulator of social care (including elderly care homes) and childcare in Wales.

In England and Scotland, the Care Quality Commission and Care Inspectorate regulate social care, as well as healthcare.

Keep reading to learn more about the Care Inspectorate Wales, including the services they regulate, their guiding principles, ratings and partner services.

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In this article:

  1. What is the Care Inspectorate Wales?
  2. Services they regulate and inspect
  3. Find a care home inspection report
  4. Ratings
  5. Core values
  6. Guiding principles
  7. CIW Strategic plan
  8. CIW Engagement plan
  9. Partner services

What is the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)?

The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) actively tries to improve the service provided by social care organisations such as care homes and childcare. They do this by inspecting, reviewing and regulating care services, including providing detailed reports with areas for improvements.

The main goal of the CIW is to ensure social care services in Wales provide safe, compassionate and dignified care.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW)

While the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) regulates social care and childcare services in Wales, the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) is the country’s independent regulator of the NHS and other healthcare services.

They work alongside regulators such as the CIW to create standards, policies and guidance against which Welsh healthcare services can be regulated.

The Services Care Inspectorate Wales Regulate and Inspect

The Care Inspectorate Wales regulates the following services:

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Regulation involves managing different services, according to a specific set of rules and guidelines. Regulation includes:

  • Registering new services
  • Inspecting services and publishing findings
  • Investigating and dealing with complaints
  • Ensuring care providers are compliant with regulations
  • Taking action if a care provider isn’t meeting requirements laid out in the Care Standards Act, or if they’ve been given priority areas to improve which haven’t been acted on

During an inspection

CIW Inspectors will check how a service is being provided, including:

  • Speaking with people who use the service
  • Observing people using the service
  • Speaking with relatives of people who use the service
  • Speaking with members of staff, such as a care home manager
  • Reading relevant policies and records
  • In some cases, handing out questionnaires to the above people
  • Whether the service is also provided in Welsh, without somebody having to request this

After an inspection

The inspector will then discuss their findings with the care provider. They’ll also send a post-inspection feedback questionnaire to the provider after the inspection has taken place. This allows the service provider to share any thoughts about the inspection process. All findings will be written up into an inspection report which will be sent to the provider within 25 working days of the inspection taking place.

Once the service provider has received the report, they’ll have up to 10 working days to say if they’re in agreement with the outcome of the report and whether they think the main findings are factually correct or not (amendments could be made).

Reports (other than for children’s homes) are then published in the Care Inspectorate Wales service directory.

Find a Care Home Inspection Report

You can use the Care Inspectorate Wales service directory to find a registered social care service and view inspection reports.

All you need to do is enter the name of a service and select the service type.

You can also filter by specific types of care homes, including specialist care homes for learning disabilities and care homes for mental health.

You can also set the location radius to a particular postcode to bring up all nearby care services in your local area.

CIW reports

You can select a specific care service to learn more. Each report includes the service’s address, telephone number, the care they provide, the date they registered, their manager, the number of places/beds they have and the provider (such as Hallmark Care Homes).

You’ll also find all inspection reports and when they were conducted. For example, Ty Enfys Care Home in Cardiff has had two inspections - in March 2020 and July 2021.

These reports include:

  • An overall assessment (across wellbeing, care and support, environment, leadership and management
  • Areas for improvement
  • Areas where priority action is needed
  • Recommendations

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The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) is currently amending the way they rate services such as care homes. From June 2023, they’ll begin providing silent ratings whenever inspecting a care home or domiciliary support service. These won’t be published.

Though ratings won’t be published, you can still find lots of information surrounding a care service using the CIW’s service directory of inspection reports.

From April 2024, ratings for care homes and domiciliary support services will start being published within inspection reports.

Core Values

The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) has five core values which they aim to uphold when inspecting a service:

  • Caring - The CIW shows compassion and is approachable

  • Fair - The CIW is impartial and consistent when assessing different care services

  • Integrity - The CIW prides itself on being honest and trustworthy

  • Professional - The CIW aims to be knowledgeable while always being innovative as well

  • Respect - The CIW listens to people and values a person-centred approach

Guiding Principles

The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) is led by six guiding principles:

  • Putting people first - Actively seeking feedback from people who are currently receiving or have received care

  • Being intelligence-led - Making informed inspections by always being data-led and understanding wider trends

  • Being risk-based and responsive - Prioritising inspecting and reinspecting care services that are most in need of improvement

  • Working collaboratively - Working alongside the Welsh government, local authorities, health boards and representative groups

  • Supporting improvement and innovation - Sharing new findings with social care service providers

  • Reflecting and learning - Continuously adapting to new ways of working

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CIW Strategic Plan (2020-2025)

Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) has laid out a strategic plan which highlights its priorities until 2025. This plan aims to ensure people and their individual experiences continue to be at the core of the CIW’s work.

Every year, the following targets are reviewed to check they’re being achieved and what can be done better:

  • Being a trusted voice which drives improvement within the social care industry
  • Delivering an excellent service
  • Being responsive and highly skilled

CIW Engagement Plan (2020-2025)

Similarly, their engagement plan for 2020 to 2025 has set out priorities in terms of creating engagement around what the CIW does.

The CIW’s goal is to build lasting relationships with people, to better understand the impact different social services have on their lives. Having this understanding will make it easier for the CIW to better regulate and inspect different services within the social care sector.

Each year the Care Inspectorate Wales will review their success in:

  • Making people more aware and understanding of the work they do
  • Creating better engagement with relevant people
  • Sharing knowledge and findings for further improvements within social care

Partner Services

The Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) works with the country’s other main inspectorates:

Through the Inspection Wales Programme, these regulators share information, making it easier to provide balanced and informed judgements on the country’s various services (including hospitals, care homes, home care services, schools and other public organisations).

The CIW is concerned with improving the quality of social care and social services in Wales.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact the Care Inspectorate Wales?

You can call the Care Inspectorate Wales at 0300 7900 126. You can also email them at They’re open from 09:00 to 17:00 on Monday to Thursday, and from 09:00 to 16:30 on Fridays. They’re closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

When did CSSIW change to CIW?

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) changed their name to Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) on 15th January 2018.

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