National Care Standards

The Care Inspectorate regulates and inspects care services to make sure they meet the right standards.

Please note that the new Health and Social Care Standards have now been published and will be rolled out from April 2018. For further information on this please visit our policy portal. 

When we check the quality of care services, we use the National Care Standards. You can find out more about our role and work here. For Other Services which we do not regulate or inspect, you can find out about the role of Healthcare Improvement Scotland here.

National Care Standards were developed with people who use care services and they say what a good quality care service should be like.

If you, a member of your family, or someone you know is using a registered care service now, or may need to use one in the future, the National Care Standards contain lots of information on what a service must do or provide to make sure that you experience a good quality service. Use these Standards of Care to make an informed assessment about the levels of care you or someone you know receives or when choosing a new care service.

Care services in Scotland should reflect:


  • Be treated with dignity and respect at all times; and
  • Enjoy a full range of social relationships.


  • Have your privacy and property respected; and
  • Be free from unnecessary intrusion.


  • Make informed choices, while recognising the rights of other people to do the same; and
  • Know about the range of choices.


  • Feel safe and secure in all aspects of life, including health and well-being;
  • Enjoy safety but not be over-protected; and
  • Be free from exploitation and abuse.

Realising potential

  • Achieve all you can;
  • Make full use of the resources that are available to you;
  • Make the most of your life.

Equality and diversity

Live an independent life, rich in purpose, meaning and personal fulfilment

  • Be valued for your ethnic background, language, culture and faith;
  • Be treated equally and be cared for in an environment which is free from bullying, harassment and discrimination; and
  • Be able to complain effectively without fear of victimisation.

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