Here you can find out what fitness to practise is and when it can be impaired as well as the kinds of things we do not investigate.

We are responsible for protecting and enhancing the safety and welfare of people who use services. As part of meeting that responsibility, we must be confident that the right people are on the Register.

We investigate concerns about workers and take action where necessary.

A social service worker is fit to practise if they meet the standards of character, conduct and competence necessary for them to do their job safely and effectively with regard to the SSSC Codes of Practice.

You can read the definition of fitness to practise and impairment in rule 2 in the SSSC (Fitness to Practise) Rules 2016.

 

A worker's fitness to practise may be impaired by one or more of the following:    

  • misconduct
  • deficient professional practice
  • a health issue
  • a decision about them by another specified regulatory body
  • a criminal conviction.

Our Code of Practice sets out the standards of conduct and practice expected of social service workers registered with us. Workers must not behave in a way, in or outside work, which would call into question their suitability to work in social services.

You can see some practical examples of what is meant by impairment in our impairment case studies.

You can read the definition of fitness to practise and impairment in rule 2 in the SSSC (Fitness to Practise) Rules 2016.

If you want to find out more about making a referral to us, please go to our raising a concern section.

If you wish to find out more about our process, please go to the social service workers section.

Anyone can raise a concern if they believe that a worker’s fitness to practise may be impaired. This can be:

  • a person who uses services or their carer
  • members of the public
  • colleagues
  • employers or managers
  • the police or other public bodies.  

Our fitness to practise process considers if a worker’s fitness to practise is impaired.

We do not resolve general complaints or punish workers for past mistakes.

 

There are concerns that we do not investigate. Below are some examples.

  • The type of concern means it is unlikely that a worker’s fitness to practise is impaired.
  • Some concerns are dealt with by other bodies, such as the Care Inspectorate, who regulate care services.
  • Some concerns are likely to be matters about the service rather than about the worker, for example:
    • how a service is provided
    • the service being withdrawn or the levels of service
    • a change of worker.
  • Some concerns are about a professional decision. Social service workers have to make professional decisions, judgements and recommendations and give opinions that not everyone will agree with. They also have to work within the resources available to them. We will normally direct concerns about a worker's decision to their employer, although we may investigate concerns about standard of practice or conduct. We cannot change a decision or ask that another assessment or other work is undertaken. 

If you want to find out more about making a referral to us, please go to our raising a concern section.