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

16. Conduct during inspections

How inspectors and agencies should work together.

16.1 Expectations of inspectors

It is important that inspectors and providers establish and maintain a positive working relationship based on courteous and professional behaviour. We expect our inspectors to uphold the highest professional standards in their work, and to treat everyone they meet during inspections fairly, with respect and with sensitivity.

In meeting this expectation, inspectors will:

  • evaluate objectively, be impartial and inspect without fear or favour
  • uphold and demonstrate Ofsted values at all times
  • evaluate provision in line with frameworks, regulations and standards
  • base all evaluations on clear and robust evidence
  • declare all actual and perceived conflicts of interest and have no real or perceived connection with the provider that could undermine the objectivity of the inspection
  • report honestly and clearly, ensuring that judgements are fair and reliable
  • carry out their work with integrity, treating all those they meet with courtesy, respect and sensitivity
  • take all reasonable steps to prevent undue anxiety and to minimise stress for those being inspected
  • act in the best interests and well-being of service users, prioritising the safeguarding of children at all times
  • maintain purposeful and productive communication with those being inspected and inform them of judgements sensitively, but clearly and frankly
  • respect the confidentiality of information, particularly about individuals and their work
  • respond appropriately to reasonable requests
  • take prompt and appropriate action on any safeguarding or health and safety issues
  • use their title (such as Her Majesty’s Inspector, Ofsted Inspector or Regulatory Inspector) only in relation to their work for Ofsted.

16.2 Expectations of agencies

For inspection and regulation to be productive and beneficial, inspectors and agency managers must establish and maintain a professional working relationship that is based on courtesy and professional behaviour. Inspectors are expected to uphold the code of conduct, but we also expect staff to:

  • apply their own codes of conduct in their dealings with inspectors
  • enable inspectors to carry out their visit in an open and honest way
  • enable inspectors to evaluate the provision objectively against the inspection evaluation criteria and relevant standards and regulations
  • provide evidence, or access to evidence, that will enable the inspector to report honestly, fairly and reliably about their provision
  • work with inspectors to minimise disruption, stress and bureaucracy
  • ensure the good health and safety of inspectors while on their premises
  • maintain purposeful and productive communication with the inspector or the inspection team
  • bring any concerns about the inspection to the attention of inspectors promptly and in a suitable manner
  • recognise that sometimes inspectors will need to observe practice and talk to staff and users without the presence of a manager or responsible individual