Appeal to the Care Standards Tribunal

How to appeal if you're excluded, removed or suspended from a register to work with or care for children or vulnerable adults.

What you can appeal against

You can appeal to a tribunal if you are:

  • a child minder, carer or day care provider
  • a social worker or social care worker in Wales

Or if you run:

  • a children’s home
  • a childminder agency
  • a care home
  • a residential family centre
  • a care agency that visits people’s homes
  • a nurses agency
  • a fostering or voluntary adoption agency
  • an independent hospital, clinic or medical agency
  • a doctor’s or dentist’s practice
  • an independent school
  • licensed NHS services

You can also appeal against a health or education department decision to:

  • include you on the protection of children or vulnerable adults lists
  • ban you from teaching or working with children

Find out how to appeal against a Disclosure and Barring Service decision to add you to a banned list.

The tribunal

Your case will be dealt with by a tribunal known as the First-tier Tribunal (Care Standards).

The tribunal is independent of the government, and will listen to both sides of the argument before reaching its decision.

Time limits for appealing

You must appeal within a certain amount of time after the date of the decision.

Organisation Type of decision Time limit
Care Quality Commission any decision 28 days
Department for Education independent school register: cancellation or conditions 28 days
Department for Education independent school register: proposed order 28 days
Department for Education protection of children list 3 months
Department of Health protection of vulnerable adults list 3 months
Department of Health barred from working with children 3 months
Monitor licence to provide NHS services 28 days
Ofsted or Welsh Government refusal to register 3 months
Ofsted or Welsh Government cancelled registration 28 days
Ofsted emergency suspension 10 days

If you have missed the time limit, give as much detail as you can to explain why.

The tribunal will decide if your appeal can go ahead. It may not be able to consider your case if it’s late.

How to appeal

Use the relevant form and guidance leaflet.

You must complete the whole form and attach a copy of the decision you are appealing against.

Email this to or send it to:

Care Standards Tribunal
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
1st Floor
Darlington Magistrates' Court

Telephone: 01325 289 350
Fax: 01264 785 013

Emergency cases

You must also send a copy of the form to the regulator if your case is urgent, eg:

  • your registration is suddenly cancelled or suspended
  • emergency restrictions are placed on your independent school

You can find the correct address on the letter from the regulator.

These cases will be dealt with much faster than normal appeals.

Contact the tribunal if you don’t know whether your case is an emergency.

Help and advice

You may be able to get advice from:

  • Citizens Advice
  • your trade union
  • a professional association (eg the British Association of Social Workers)

The tribunal can help you complete the application form, but cannot give you legal advice.

How your case will be decided

The tribunal will arrange a conference call with you, the judge and the regulator, to discuss what steps you need to take before the hearing. This is called a telephone case management hearing.

During the call, you’ll usually decide when to:

  • exchange documents and witness statements
  • put together the papers for the hearing (the ‘bundle’)

Find out more about witness statements and bundles.

The judge will set a date and time for the hearing. The details will also be added to the list of hearings.

You can also ask the judge any questions about the process, or what to expect at the hearing.

The hearing

The tribunal will try to hold the hearing at a court or tribunal building near your home address.

It will be attended by:

  • a judge and 2 specialist members of the tribunal with professional experience
  • a clerk or usher
  • a lawyer from the regulator
  • your lawyer or other representative (if you have one)
  • witnesses for both parties

Members of the public can usually attend the hearing.

You will be given a chance to:

  • present your case to the tribunal
  • call witnesses to give evidence
  • highlight any important points at the end

The tribunal will write to you explaining its decision within 10 days of the hearing.

Appeal against the decision

If you think the tribunal made a mistake in the way it interpreted or applied the law, you can ask for permission to appeal.

Get legal advice from a solicitor if you need help.

Find out more about appealing to the Upper Tribunal.

If the tribunal made a mistake

You can challenge the decision if there was a mistake in the way the case was handled (eg you weren’t sent important documents).

To do this, fill in the application to set aside a decision form.

You must apply within 28 days of receiving the decision.

Previous decisions

You can search the Care Standards Tribunal decisions database to find about decisions in previous cases.

Legislation and rules

Read detailed rules on how appeals are handled in the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber procedure rules.

You can find the right to appeal to the tribunal in the following acts and regulations:

Published 17 December 2014