Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): voluntary adoption agencies

Guidance on how Ofsted inspects voluntary adoption agencies.

Applies to England



Our approach is underpinned by the following 3 principles that apply to all social care inspections:

  • to focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives
  • to be consistent in our expectations of providers
  • to prioritise our work where improvement is needed most
Published 22 February 2017
Last updated 2 February 2024 + show all updates
  1. Additional guidance on deferring an inspection, inspector conduct during inspections, when and how the provider can raise issues, concerns or complaints during and after the inspection, supporting the well-being of the provider’s managers and staff during inspections and visits, attendance at keeping in touch meetings, discussions with staff and feedback meetings and who the provider may share provisional and final inspection outcomes with.

  2. Minor amends to the guidance on case tracking to make it consistent with the adoption support agencies and independent fostering agencies SCCIF guidance. Guidance also added to the ‘Inadequate judgements: next steps’ section on feeding back to local authorities.

  3. Updated the guidance for inspectors on recording evidence in the inspection database.

  4. Minor edits for clarity in the 'Timeframe' and 'Monitoring visit' sections. Revised text referencing the updated 'Ofsted code of conduct' policy.

  5. Added updated SCCIF for April 2022: additional guidance for when inspectors discover possible unregistered provision.

  6. Updated guidance on the scheduling of inspections of agencies previously judged inadequate or requires improvement to be good, to make this consistent with our guidance on all adoption and fostering agency inspections.

  7. Added guidance on inspecting voluntary adoption agencies during COVID-19 restrictions. Updated guidance to reflect the changes to Ofsted’s post-inspection processes and complaints handling (including the timeline) that we introduced in September 2020. Updated the 'Frequency of inspection' section to include a rolling 3-year inspection programme. Minor edits for readability.

  8. First published.