How to verify, endorse and countersign application forms

Endorsing an application using MySSSC

One of the main benefits of MySSSC for employers is the ability to endorse applications for registration electronically. If you are a lead or additional countersignatory with the SSSC, you can set up an online account and endorse online applications using MySSSC.

All applications for registration must be endorsed.


The SSSC has reviewed the application for registration process and is implementing a key change to make the process more straightforward for both the applicant and the employer.

From 1 February 2014 we will no longer require applicants to provide copies of their identification documents.

The SSSC previously asked for verified copies of applicants’ birth certificates and passports along with their application form.  This was required to enable us to countersign the Disclosure Scotland or Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) application.  As Disclosure Scotland information is provided to us by the employer, we have the assurance that the necessary identification checks have been carried out.

This change will make it simpler for applicants and employers to complete the SSSC application process. In particular it will streamline online applications through MySSSC as there will be no delay waiting for identification documents to be received through the post.

When you are completing the online endorsement you  will only be asked to confirm if the supporting documents have been verified this if the applicant has noted on their application that they have a relevant qualification as qualification certificate(s) will still need to be verified and sent to the SSSC.

Circumstances where verification of documents is still required

  • Applications where the SSSC is carrying out a PVG check

For these applicants we need to see the identity and proof of address documents ourselves.

These applications are:

Student applications

Self employed or unemployed Social Worker applications

Applicants whose employer has not run an Enhanced Disclosure or PVG check

  • Qualifications – we still require verified copies of qualification certificates issued by the awarding body.

Who can verify an applicant's supporting documents if they are required?

A line manager or someone senior to the applicant in the organisation can verify supporting documents. The verifier does not have to be the person who endorses or countersigns the application, although they can be the same person. The endorser should give the name of the verifier in the endorsement section.

Who can verify documents sent in by Registrants?

If you are registered with the SSSC and your circumstances change, then the evidence for this ie name change certificates (marriage or deed poll) or qualification certificates must be verified by a countersignatory for your organisation. This is because these are sent after your original application so they are not received along with confirmation from a countersignatory that the verification has been carried out by someone else.

How to verify documents

The person verifying the documents should see the originals and then sign and print their name on each photocopy as a true copy.

Endorsing an application

We need assurances, as far as they are possible, that the information the applicant has given us about their disciplinary record, criminal convictions and any alternatives to prosecution they have been subject to, is correct. We need to be sure that there are no reasons why the SSSC should not be assured of the competence and good character of applicants and their suitability for registration.

As part of the endorsement we will ask for the date and number of the last Enhanced Disclosure/PVG the organisation carried out for the person applying to register and the Enhanced Disclosure number or PVG membership number.  It is the employer’s responsibility to carry out a PVG check and you should inform us once you receive the PVG certificate back from Disclosure Scotland if this is still in progress.   The SSSC only countersigns PVG applications if the applicant is student, an unemployed or self employed social worker or the employer is unable to run the PVG check for some reason.

 Who can endorse an application?

Applicants are required to get an endorsement of their application by a senior person in a social service organisation.

If your organisation has a countersignatory, it is this person who must endorse the application form.

If the applicant is applying online then they will be able to select a countersignatory from a drop down list in the Endorser section of their application.

Newly qualified social workers who are renewing their registration for the first time must have their renewal application endorsed by the lead countersignatory of the organisation they work for. 

For further information, read the relevant guide for verifying and endorsing application forms:


The SSSC has main points of contacts within social service organisations. These contacts are senior representatives from the organisations who we can contact for all matters about registration.

We call these individuals lead countersignatories. The lead countersignatory can then apply to set up further additional countersignatories in their organisation.

Lead countersignatories and additional countersignatories can endorse applications for registration. We would recommend that social service organisations apply to set up a lead countersignatory prior to their staff applying for registration. Once you are a countersignatory you can apply for access to the MySSSC for employers, which provides benefits such as being able to track the progress of applicants and registrants within their organisation.

Read the guidance for more details on the role of countersignatories and complete the necessary forms to apply to set up countersignatories.