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This Facsheet is about complaints relating to the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW). It should be read together with our ‘How to Complain‘ webpage, available on the ‘Making A Complaint’ tab.

CIW is responsible for encouraging improvement in social care, early years and social services. It achieves this aim through regulation, inspection and review. If you think that CIW has not followed the law, regulations or guidance, we may be able to help you with your complaint. We would normally expect you to complain to CIW (Welsh Government) itself, in the first instance.


What we can do

We can:

  • Look at complaints about procedural and administrative shortcomings arising as part of CIW’s regulatory function;
  • Look at complaints about procedural and administrative shortcomings arising during a CIW review of Local Authority Social Services;
  • Look at complaints where CIW has failed to provide a response or provided an unsatisfactory response;
  • Consider complaints about CIW’s reporting process.


What we cannot do

We cannot:

  • Consider any issues of suspension, discipline or any personnel issues concerning CIW officers or those bodies that it regulates or inspects;
  • Question a properly-made decision that CIW is entitled to make.


Issues to bear in mind

  • Regulated Services are required by law to have their own complaints procedure in place. Local Authority Social Services can also become involved in considering complaints about regulated services where it has purchased care on behalf of someone. We can also investigate complaints made by people who self fund their own care in care homes and through domiciliary care services. CIW is interested in the nature of complaints in regulated services as it is responsible for checking compliance with the legal framework.
  • Local Authority Social Services have the lead responsibility for safeguarding children and adults. They work with other statutory bodies in carrying out this function.
  • Complaints about ‘Social Services’ should be dealt with under the Local Authority Social Services own procedure in the first place (refer to “A guide to handling complaints and representations by local authority social services”).
  • Providers of services also have rights to make representations to CIW and appeal on regulatory matters to the Care Standards Tribunal.


Further information

Further information about CIW, including copies of inspection reports, can be found on its website:

If you wish to appeal against a regulatory decision taken by CIW that you have already made a representation about to CIW itself, you can appeal to the Care Standards Tribunal: Care Standards Tribunal, 1st Floor, Darlington Magistrates Court, Parkgate, DL1 1RU; Tel: 01325 289350; Email:

If you have a complaint regarding the actions of an individual social worker or care worker, you may wish to contact Social Care Wales: Social Care Wales, Southgate House, Wood Street, Cardiff, CF10 1EW;
Telephone: 0300 30 33 444; Email: Website:

We are independent and impartial; we cannot order public bodies to do what we recommend – but, in practice, they almost always do. Examples of cases that we have looked at can be found on our website, under the ‘Publications’ tab on the ‘Our Findings’ page.


Contact us

If you are unsure whether we would be able to look into your complaint, please contact us on 0300 790 0203 or

Also available in Welsh.