Our history

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) was created under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 by the then Scottish Executive to protect people who use services, raise standards of practice and strengthen and support the professionalism of the workforce. The Act sets out principles, this includes that we will:

  • promote high standards of conduct and practice among social service workers and their education and training
  • maintain a register of social workers, social services workers and social work students
  • remove people from the SSSC Register
  • create and promote the SSSC Codes of Practice
  • approve courses for people who wish to become social workers
  • provide grants and allowances for social service workers’ training.

The arrival of the SSSC follows years of campaigning by many in social services for a body that would raise the status of thousands of committed social service workers and put them on an equal footing with other regulated professionals.

One of our first requirements was to produce the SSSC Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers We did this in partnership with our relevant partners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The SSSC Codes of Practice sets out the standards social service workers and their employers should meet.

We opened the SSSC Register of Social Service Workers (Register) on 1 April 2003, with social workers being the first group of workers to register. Since then the Register has grown to include:

  • social work students
  • Care Inspectorate officers
  • workers in residential child care services
  • managers in adult day care services
  • workers in care home services for adults
  • workers in day care of children services
  • workers in school hostels, residential special schools and independent boarding schools
  • workers in housing support services
  • workers in care at home services.

In 2014, we had over 60,000 workers on our Register.