Introduction to the supervisory authorities and the supervision of child welfare services, social services and health and care services in Norway

This introductory section describes the basis for supervision, how supervision is carried out, areas and themes for supervision, and organization of the supervision authorities. It is about 7 pages if you print the article directly or as a pdf-file.

Supervision reports and countrywide supervision

The supervision reports from planned supervision of institutions contain the following information:

  • the theme for supervision
  • the legislation related to the supervision
  • breaches of laws or regulations that were identified
  • observations regarding areas identified as having potential for improvement
  • the basis for breaches and observations
  • the way in which supervision was carried out, including the participants.

For countrywide supervision, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision provides the Offices of the County Governors with an instruction manual for carrying out supervision, and summarizes the findings in a national report after supervision has been completed.

Decisions in individual cases

Patients, relatives, employers, the police and others can request the supervision authorities to examine cases when they mean that there has been a deficiency in the health service. Cases where it is appropriate to give an administrative reaction to a health worker or to an institution are dealt with by the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision. This section presents a selection of completed cases, with a description of the cases and the administrative decisions that were made.

Department for Operational Health Supervision

The Department investigates serious adverse events reported by hospitals, in some cases by visiting the hospital where the event happened. Patients and relatives are given the right to receive information.


The results of supervision and the experience gained from supervision, including countrywide supervision, are published in the report series Report of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision. The annual supervision report (Tilsynsmelding), which is written for a wide readership, contains articles about the results of supervision, the experience we have gained from dealing with complaints and from supervision, and a section on statistics.


This section contains links to acts and regulations that have been translated into English, for example:

  • The Child Welfare Act
  • The Health Personnel Act
  • The Patients' Rights Act
  • The Health Supervision Act

External evaluation of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision 

In 2011 and 2012, an expert group in the European Partnership of Supervisory Organisations in Health Services and Social Care (EPSO) carried out an evaluation of the extent to which the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision works in a manner that can be acknowledged as sound supervisory practice, the methods used, and the extent to which results from supervisory activities are traceable.

The response of the health services to the terrorist incidents of 22 July 2011 

The Norwegian Directorate of Health has evaluated the response of the health services and related services to the terrorist incidents of 22 July 2011. The aim of the evaluation was to learn from the experiences of the services. This section contains links to the assessment carried out by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, and to the summary of the report from the Norwegian Government’s Commission that investigated the incidents.

Web resources

This section contains links to websites about child welfare services, social services, and health and care services, including supervision of these services. There are also links to websites about other related topics relevant in Norway.


This section contains contact information for the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision and the 17 Offices of the County Governors.