Social care: guidance for Ofsted staff

This handbook sets out the legal background to Ofsted’s social care compliance work and Ofsted’s powers.


Social care compliance handbook

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Social care compliance handbook


Ofsted uses this handbook in its regulation of adoption support agencies, children’s homes, holiday schemes for disabled children, independent fostering agencies, residential family centres and voluntary adoption agencies.

Providers, managers and interested parties can read it to understand Ofsted’s compliance processes.

Published 15 October 2014
Last updated 16 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Handbook amended to reflect the revised registration guidance updated earlier this month. Also updated to explain that Ofsted doesn't do joint visits with other agencies but that we may visit or inspect at the same time as another agency.
  2. Minor updates and revisions to sections on written representations, offences, and disqualification.
  3. Updates to section 3.4, page 41 and section 3.5, page 47 to reflect changes to our policy when suspending providers’ registration and restricting accommodation.
  4. Handbook re-structured for ease of use.
  5. Updated for a suite of small changes following a review and in response to feedback from inspectors.
  6. This document was updated in December 2014.
  7. First published.