We monitor and inspect residential services for people with disabilities to ensure that they provide residents with an appropriate standard and quality of service.

Our inspections can be announced, short notice announced or unannounced. We inspect in order to:
  • decide on an application by a provider to register a centre
  • monitor continuing compliance with regulations, National Standards and conditions of registration
  • assess how a provider responds to an event, change of circumstance or issue identified from information received by the Office of the Chief Inspector — any of which might affect the safety and wellbeing of residents

How we make our decisions

We have adopted a common Authority Monitoring Approach to inspecting and making judgments.

This common approach is informed by our Assessment and judgment framework and the guidance for the assessment of designated centres.

These documents seek to provide assurance that our work is both transparent and consistent. It is publicly available so everyone can see that we make our decisions in a fair and consistent way.

The Assessment and judgment Framework supports inspectors in gathering evidences and making judgments. It also gives guidance on the levels of compliance and outlines the compliances descriptors.

During the inspection

The inspector will make observations about the premises and the care and support provided in the centre.

How the residents’ privacy, dignity and autonomy is respected and promoted, and how the service is managed and governed.

The inspector will be happy to speak with any resident, family member, representative or staff member; and will also understand that some residents and relatives may not want to talk with an inspector.

Resident questionnaires are sent in advance of announced inspections to allow residents to provide feedback on what it is like to live in a designed centre.

Inspectors are required at all times to act in line with our Code of conduct for inspectors and our Code of business conduct. Where concerns arise, we encourage services to inform us as soon as possible.

After the inspection

An inspection report is produced after each inspection.

The majority of reports do not contain findings that may identify any individual resident and those reports will be published on the HIQA website. If a report potentially does identify a resident, for example in a very small centre, the report may not be published online. However, whether a report is published online or not, all service providers are required to make reports available to residents and their families once they have been finalised.