Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland – care training, the RQIA and the NISCC     

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) is the independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, including care homes, and encouraging improvements in the quality of those services.

The RQIA holds comprehensive up to date information on all registered health and social care services in Northern Ireland including nursing homes, residential care homes and domiciliary care agencies. Inspections are based on minimum care standards designed to ensure that both the public and the service providers know what quality of services is expected.

Individual inspection reports for each service are publicly available online, with an online directory enabling the public to search for services by name, care category, geographical area, and postcode. Inspections are underpinned by The Residential Care Homes Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 and the DHSSPS Residential Care Homes Minimum Standards, August 2011.

The RQIA inspect and report on the following four domains:

  • Is care safe?
  • Is care effective?
  • Is care compassionate?
  • Is the service well led?

RQIA guidance on mandatory training for providers of care in regulated services can be found here.

BVS Training offers a range of training courses for both the Home Care and Care Home sectors, all of which comply with the mandatory training requirements of the RQIA, as well as the standards of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) is the regulatory body for the social care workforce in Northern Ireland. It’s role is to register social care workers; to set standards for their training & practice and to support professional development across the workforce. NISCC is a non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (NI) and founded under the Health and Personal Social Services Act (Northern Ireland) 2001.

Under the Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland 2013 No 225 it is an offence to employ a person in any of the social care job roles listed below if they are not registered with NISCC. 

  • Social Care Workers: Adult Residential Homes, Nursing Homes & Children’s Homes
  • Managers: Residential Care Homes, Day Care Settings or Domiciliary Care Settings
  • Social Workers
  • Social Work Students
  • Social care workers in Day Care, Supported Living and Domiciliary Care settings.   

The NISCC’s Standards of Conduct and Practice form the core regulatory framework for the social work and social care workforce.

  • The Standards of Conduct describe the values, attitudes and behaviours expected of workers in their day to day work
  • The Standards of Practice outline the knowledge and skills required for competent practice

Every registrant receives a copy of the Standards when their registration application is approved - Pdf copies of the Standards in various formats are available from the NISCC website here.