Guidance on the social care common inspection framework (SCCIF).

Ofsted will return to carrying out routine inspections for all settings inspected under the SCCIF (social care common inspection framework) on Monday 12 April 2021.

Social care common inspection framework

Our first principle of inspection is to focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives. The SCCIF is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ framework. The evaluation criteria are broadly consistent across the different types of children’s social care services but they reflect the unique nature of each type of service.

Inspectors can also read guidance on safeguarding concerns.

Assurance visits

Ofsted began making assurance visits in September 2020 as part of a phased return to routine inspection.

Additional guidance

Published 22 February 2017
Last updated 19 March 2021 + show all updates

  1. Updates to SCCIF guidance to reflect the changes to Ofsted’s post-inspection processes and complaints handling (including timelines) that we introduced in September 2020.

  2. Added guidance for social care providers on how inspectors can arrange to review records held on electronic systems.

  3. Removed information about our work during the national lockdown (5 November up to 2 December).

  4. Added guidance on assurance visits that Ofsted will carry out from September 2020.

  5. Minor updates to all SCCIF handbooks including additional guidance for inspectors in the ‘Listening and talking to children and young people’ sections and updated guidance in the ‘Conduct during inspections’ sections.

  6. Updated with link to new secure children’s homes SCCIF.

  7. Minor update to the evaluation criteria describing inadequate effectiveness of leaders and managers (section 5.3) within in the SCCIF for the inspection of children’s homes and secure children’s homes.

  8. Minor updates to 7 framework manuals (no changes to residential provision of further education colleges).

  9. The information about monitoring visits for boarding schools and residential special schools and residential provision of further education colleges has been rewritten.

  10. First published.