The Scottish Government’s social care regulator, the Care Commission, seeks continual improvement in the quality of social care services. Its approach has been to establish a modern risk-based regulatory regime using separate measures of risk and quality. We evaluate this twin approach, firstly, in relation to the literature on predictors of poor service quality in care delivery; and, secondly, by interviewing a sample of Care Commission inspectors. We conclude that this system has important advantages, both in terms of regulatory transparency and the need for inspectors to remain sensitive to the separateness of risk and quality issues. Future revisions of risk and quality assessment within social care services, both in Scotland and further afield, should seek to minimise misunderstanding and conflict between regulators and regulatees on closely interrelated matters of risk, quality and efficiency.
- risk research
- social care