This paper discusses the way in which quality of care has been measured and in particular draws attention to the vagueness of concepts such as autonomy, individuality and dignity. In our research we have put forward a number of indicators for the quality of care received by patients and, in addition, we have constructed a method by which they can be measured, through the use of standardized observation schedules. This paper therefore describes our indicators and the data collection process followed. This aspect of our work is part of a larger study into work satisfaction and quality of care in psychogeriatric wards in Scotland. Ultimately, the data will allow us to identify factors affecting high and low levels of job satisfaction as well as factors influencing good and bad quality of care. Further, we will be able to examine any association between work satisfaction and the quality of care delivered to patients. The results of this research are due to be published shortly.