What are the SSSC Codes of Practice?

The revised Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers (the Codes) came into effect on 1 November 2016. The Codes set out the standards of practice and behaviour expected of social service workers and their employers.

We updated the Codes to reflect current social service policy and practice following wide consultation and engagement with the sector.

Download the SSSC Codes of Practice for Social service Workers and Employers here.

The SSSC Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers sets out the standards social workers, social care, early years and young people’s workers and their employers should meet. We developed them in partnership with our relevant partners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and launched them on 23 September 2003.

What has changed?

The main changes to the Codes are:

However the Codes are largely the same as before with some updates to the language and terminology we use.

We didn’t change too much in the Codes as during our consultation we heard lots of good examples of how the Codes support workers' practice and the delivery of high quality social services.

You can see the full details of the changes to the Codes in our overview.

SSSC Code of Practice for Social Service Workers

The Code of Practice for Social Service Workers sets out clear standards of professional conduct and practice that social service workers must meet in their everyday work.

Workers are responsible for making sure their practice meets the required standards and that no action or omission on their part harms the wellbeing of people who use services. The Code is part of the wider package of legislation, practice standards and employers’ policies and procedures that social service workers must meet.

We expect social service workers to meet the standards in the Code and we may take action if registered workers fail to do so.

SSSC Codes of Practice for Social Service Employers

The SSSC Code of Practice for Social Service Employers sets out the responsibilities of employers in the regulation of social service workers.

Employers are responsible for making sure they meet the required standards and supporting their workers to meet the standards set out in the Code for Social Service Workers.

The Care Inspectorate take the Codes of Practice into account during inspection of services and may take action to support improvement or require change if providers don’t meet the required standards set out in the Codes.

What do the SSSC Codes of Practice mean for the public?

By setting clear standards of professional practice and behaviour, the Codes are an important part of regulating and improving the quality of care for people who use services.

The Codes let you know what you can expect from social service workers, whether they are social workers, early years practitioners, care home staff or any of the many other social service roles.

If you are concerned a worker providing a service for you or someone you care for does not meet the standards set out in the Codes you need to tell someone. Visit our raising a concern section to find out more.