Health and safety in care service businesses

Register a care service business


Most businesses working with people who require special care, such as the very young and very old, must be officially registered.

Businesses in Northern Ireland that provide social care or private health care services must register with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA). This includes care homes, children's homes and private clinics. 

Care service businesses that must be registered

The following care service businesses must legally be registered with RQIA:

  • adult placement agencies
  • children's homes
  • day care settings
  • domiciliary care agencies
  • independent clinics
  • independent hospitals (including private dental practices)
  • nursing agencies
  • nursing homes
  • residential care homes
  • residential family centres
  • voluntary adoption agencies

How to register

You can contact the RQIA Helpline on Tel: 028 9536 1111 or access online application documents.

Certain businesses will need to pay registration fees.

In Northern Ireland, businesses offering childcare services for children up to the age of 12 must register with their local Health and Social Services Trust.

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