How we assess qualifications

The SSSC consulted widely on the qualifications required for workers and considered the comments and feedback received before the final qualification lists were set.

We recognise that it will take time for workers to achieve qualifications required for registration and that employers need to develop plans to make sure that workers register at the right time and have access to qualifications at the right time. Employers need to check the SSSC website for required registration dates to help with this planning.

Workers applying to register who do not hold required qualifications may, if they meet all the other eligibility criteria for registration eg evidence of 'good character', be granted registration subject to the condition that they achieve the required qualifications within the specified period – normally their initial period of registration. These are the requirements for qualifications referred to in the SSSC's Registration Rules.

While we were consulting on qualifications, it became clear that there are a wide range of job titles that are used on a day to day basis. To avoid confusion it was agreed that workers would be registered against the job function they perform rather than their job title. The exception to this is social workers and social work students who must either hold or be studying for a suitable social work qualification.

The criteria we set for qualifications for registration is that any award:

  • incorporates assessment against occupational standards or is based on the assessment of work-based competence
  • is designed to match a particular function or range of functions within social services, or meets registration criteria set by a nationally recognised regulatory body
  • is subject to a recognised and regulated form of external verification or assessment.

The key principles are that any award must:

  • integrate observed, assessed practice and learning
  • be recognised within a national qualifications framework
  • recognise the importance of underpinning knowledge and a value base that is consistent with the Code of Practice for Social Service Workers.

You can view the list of acceptable qualifications on our accepted qualifications section. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is making changes to the titles of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), to read more please view this article on SSSC News online.

Consolidation of qualifications

In 2012, we carried out a consultation around consolidating the lists of acceptable practice qualifications. As a result of this consultation we will not assess any new practice qualification where the date for required registration has passed and if you are applying for one of these parts of the Register you will be required to achieve a practice qualification listed on our website.

Do you have a qualification that isn’t on the list of accepted qualifications?

The list we have published online is not exhaustive. In the first instance, please contact us to see if we have already assessed the qualification you hold.

If you have a qualification that isn’t on the accepted qualifications list and would like it to be assessed please send us a copy of your certificate so that we can consider whether it would meet the requirements for registration.

You should consider whether your qualification meets the criteria and key principles listed above before contacting us. We will only consider qualifications that meet the criteria and principles listed above and for parts of the Register where the date of required registration has not passed.