The SSSC fees increased from 1 September, following our Council’s decision in January 2017. The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills has given his consent to this change.

Read the FAQs on the fees increase.

You can see the new fees in the table below. The fees for managers, supervisors, practitioners and support workers are for workers in children's and adult's services unless otherwise stated.

Fees from 1 September 2017

Example of fee after 20% tax relief for a basic rate tax payer if the person claims tax relief.

All managers, social workers and Care Inspectorate Inspectors

£80

£64

All supervisors and practitioners

£35

£28

Residential child care workers and supervisors

£35 £28

School care accommodation workers and supervisors

£35

£28

All support workers

£25 £20

Social work students

£15

£12

The SSSC Council decided to go ahead with the new fee structure fee but with the following changes. These changes address the issue raised in the consultation about the differences in pay between social workers, managers and the other roles which had been included in this group, such as residential child care workers.

  • The increase will start on 1 September 2017 instead of April 2017.
  • Residential child care workers and those with supervisory responsibilities will pay a fee of £35 instead of £80. Residential child care managers will pay £80.
  • School care accommodation officers will pay a fee of £35 instead of £80.

The annual fees are in the table below. The fees for managers, supervisors, practitioners and support workers are for workers in children's and adult's services unless otherwise stated.

New fees from 1 September 2017

Example of fee after 20% tax relief for a basic rate tax payer if the person claims tax relief.

All managers, social workers and Care Inspectorate Inspectors

£80

£64

All supervisors and practitioners

£35

£28

Residential child care workers and supervisors

£35 £28

School care accommodation workers and supervisors

£35

£28

All support workers

£25 £20

Social work students

£15

£12

 

Note: tax relief on fees

If you pay income tax, you may be able to claim tax relief on your registration fee. Table 1 gives the example of the fee after 20% basic rate tax relief. (Check with your employer.) For example, for support workers, the increase is less than £1 per month. If you pay the basic rate of income tax and also claim tax relief, then the total annual fee even after the increase, works out at only £1.77 per month.

When the Scottish Government set up the SSSC in 2001, they intended registration fees to increase to cover the actual cost of registration. However, 16 years on the government is still contributing 87% of the cost of the SSSC and fees have stayed the same. Government doesn't contribute financially to any other professional regulation. That situation just can't continue so fees need to increase.  Scottish Government still pays for every other aspect of our work - our investigations, hearings, workforce development activities etc. and our fees will still be cheaper than other regulators.

In 2016/17, 11% of our funding came from registration fees and we expect this to rise to 14% in 2017/18 after the fee increase. Most of our funding will still be provided by Scottish Government. There is more information about the increase on our consultation page on our website.

If you apply for registration and pay before 1 September you will pay the existing fee.

If you apply on or after 1 September you will pay the higher application fee.

We will send you an invoice at least one month before your annual or renewal fee  is due.  If your annual fee or renewal is due after 1 September the new fees will apply.

You can pay your annual fee by direct debit in one payment. To pay your fees by direct debit, please choose the option Direct Debit when you complete your online application and download the Direct Debit Instruction so that you can send it to us.

The annual fee is tax deductible for UK tax payers however you must ask your employer to check that you are eligible first. For example, for registrants paying tax at the standard rate of 20%, the annual fee for social workers will be £64 after £16 tax relief. You can make tax relief claims backdated up to six years.

There are three different ways of claiming tax relief on your registration fees.

  1. You can claim tax relief using form P87: Tax relief for expenses of employment, available to download from the HMRC website.

  2. You can telephone HMRC and ask for relief on your fees. Contact details can be found on the HMRC website.

  3. If you complete a self-assessment tax return, you can claim tax relief from your registration fees on the employment page of the return.

See the HMRC website for further details, including allowable expenses, eligibility and claiming back tax for past years.

Please note that you still have to pay the full fee to the SSSC first. Then, if you are eligible, you claim tax relief from HMRC. We cannot directly deduct any tax relief from registration fees paid to us.

Most people will use social services at some point in our lives. You’ll know how important it is to have skilled and competent staff able to deliver high quality social work and social care services to the people who need them. Registration with us gives you the following.

  • Your registration confirms that you have met all the requirements to be on the Register and differentiates you from non-regulated workers.

  • Registration means you are able to work in social services. In Scotland, social service workers are a regulated workforce which means they are legally required to register with the relevant regulator. So you need your registration to be able to work in social services in Scotland.

  • You are part of the drive to increase public protection through making sure that those working in social services meet high standards of practice (the SSSC Code of Practice for Social Service Workers) and have the right skills to do the job now and throughout their career.

  • You have the SSSC Code of Practice for Social Service Workers which set national standards that all social service workers need to meet and which tell people using social services what they should expect from you. This gives the public and people who use services confidence that only people who meet the standards are suitable to do this work.

  • Codes of Practice are something that you have in common with all other regulated professions including others that you might work with in your job like doctors, nurses and teachers.

  • You have access to learning tools, other resources, events, workshops and more, all produced with you in mind to help you develop your skills throughout your career.

  • You have access to SSSC News, Scotland’s online magazine for social service workers, with information on the SSSC and what we do for you, articles and practice examples where you can share learning with each other and much more to help you in your career.

  • You have your personal online MySSSC account to manage your registration any time of the day or week.

  • You have peace of mind that your social service colleagues have to meet the same standards and that where there is an issue with a worker’s fitness to practise we can investigate and do something about it, which increases standards in the profession.

A registered and regulated workforce raises standards, in our case, in social services and improves public confidence in you. Making sure that people meet the high standards needed to be on the register, increases public protection. And if people fall below those standards, we can do something about it, always putting public protection at the centre.

While only a small number of people go through fitness to practise, these are serious cases which have a serious impact. You may find it useful to read about the types of things we investigate and take action about. You can find out more in the hearings and decisions section of our website.

This is to reflect the different roles, work patterns and salaries for those working across the different parts of the Register. The SSSC along with Scottish Ministers wanted to minimise the impact on the lowest paid workers so we have increased the fees as little as we could for people on the parts of the Register where the wages are lowest. It takes the same amount of time to process and maintain a registration for each person, so we can't vary the fee for part-time workers.  We are going to explore tying fees to earnings next time we have to review them.  This is really complicated when we're dealing with thousands of employers who all pay different wage rates. It would also need a change in the law, but we are going to look into it with our colleagues in Scottish Government.

We know that increasing fees is never going to be a popular option but would ask you to bear in mind that our fees have been the same since we first started registering people in 2003 and have always been considerably less than those of other professionally registered workers. Across Scotland we have a shared commitment among the SSSC, the Scottish Government, people working in social services, their employers and the public to ensure the workforce has the right skills, qualifications, values and standards to deliver a high quality service to our most vulnerable citizens. We can only achieve that by making an increase to our fees.

The new fee structure affects all social service workers registered with us and we know many of you have questions about registration and what the fee covers which we answer here. There is information about what we do and what this means for you, along with free resources you can use to develop your skills and help you in your job.

We plan to address some of the other points you raised during the fee consultation (for example understanding what registration and regulation mean for you and for public protection) in our new strategic plan due in April this year.

We know there are big differences in salaries depending on the type of role you have. We have increased the fees by the minimum for those parts of the Register – an increase of £5 for students and £10 for support workers. However, it takes the same amount of time to process an application and maintain an application whether the person is full or part time. This is why the fees are the same for full and part time workers.

Our Chief Executive, Anna Fowlie contacted over 91,500 people (mostly people on our Register) asking for views on the consultation setting out the proposal and the reasons why the fees need to go up. We asked for views on the proposed new fee structure and if there should be different fees for different parts of the Register.

We received 3,813 responses (4.2% of the people we contacted), mostly from individuals, with social workers and managers most likely to respond. Of this number, 3,045 (81%) did not agree with some or all of the fee structure we proposed.

We consulted to get your views and also to make sure that people knew the fees would be changing. The fees are increasing for the reasons given above (Why are the fees increasing and by so much?).

You can read the final consultation analysis here.

As with all regulated workforces and professions, the fee is your personal responsibility. Some employers do help with this. If an employer does pay your fee, it is still your responsibility to make sure they do it on time. And we can only speak with you about your fee.