7. National minimum standards (NMS)
How inspectors use the NMS.
Voluntary adoption agencies must comply with the requirements of the regulations. Where they do not, inspectors identify clearly what they must do, by setting out requirements or compliance or enforcement action.
The Department for Education also publishes national minimum standards (NMS). If providers do not meet the national minimum standards, this may indicate a failure to meet the regulations. Inspectors consider carefully the impact on children and other service users and how it should influence the judgements and outcome of the inspection, including any enforcement action.
A failure to meet a regulation does not automatically lead to a requires improvement judgement. We may still make requirements where providers are judged to be good.
We use recommendations to indicate where practice can improve. These are always related to the relevant NMS and regulation/s.