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Compliance, investigation and enforcement handbook

Ofsted has a national compliance, investigation and enforcement (CIE) team. The main roles of this team are to:

  • investigate complaints made to Ofsted about registered provision by a dedicated field force of regulatory inspectors and early years HMIs
  • provide advice and guidance to inspectors about the investigation of non-compliance with the required standards and legislative requirements concerning early years and social care settings
  • manage casework where Ofsted takes statutory enforcement action against child care providers and social care establishments and agencies
  • work cooperatively with outside agencies, including those with child protection responsibilities, to reduce or eliminate risk of harm to children and protect their welfare
  • provide advice and guidance to colleagues about Ofsted’s safeguarding policy and take action where appropriate.

CIE handbook

The CIE handbook outlines the legislative background to our compliance and enforcement work and the extent of Ofsted’s powers. It sets out the tasks that we follow to ensure a consistent approach.

When investigating non-compliance matters we must comply with the law, but also be fair and proportionate in our response, while safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people by reducing risks to their safety.

We review the information in the handbook regularly so it remains current and in line with legislation and policy.

Further reading is in Guidance on writing complaint and compliance action summaries and Publishing compliance action.