The Standard for Residential Child Care is the new benchmark which will underpin the development and delivery of Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 9 qualifications for the residential child care workforce.

Delay to new registration requirements for residential child care staff

The Scottish Government has delayed the introduction of the requirement for residential child care staff to get a new qualification pending the outcome of their Independent Care Review.

The new Scottish Credit and Qualifications (SCQF) level 9 qualification was due to become an SSSC registration requirement for managers, supervisors and new starts from October 2017.

However the Scottish Government has delayed this saying any recommendations relating to workforce development from the Independent Care Review need to be taken into account when implementing the new qualifications and introducing new registration requirements.

This means the original October 2017 introduction of the new qualification requirement for managers, supervisors and new starts is not possible. Despite the delay the Scottish Government has said it remains committed to the Standard and emphasised the need for continuous learning and development by everyone working in residential child care.


We will not progress the approval of learning providers who may wish to deliver the residential child care (RCC) degree or professional development award (PDA) RCC. However, we will honour the qualifications achieved by individuals for registration with the SSSC in programmes which we approved before the care review announcement by the First Minister in October 2016.


We developed the Standard for Residential Child Care as a subject benchmark for the sector following the Scottish Government’s acceptance of the recommendations of the National Residential Child Care Initiative report in 2009.

The Scottish Government issued a letter to the RCC sector in March 2016 confirming the timescales for the implementation of the new registration requirements for the workforce to gain an SCQF level 9 qualification.

Those dates of October 2017 for managers, supervisors and new starts and October 2019 for workers will no longer apply.

Fiona Duncan is chair of the Independent Care Review. The review aims to identify and deliver lasting change in the care system and leave a legacy that will transform the life chances and wellbeing of children and young people in care.

We will keep the sector up to date with any developments relating to the Standard for Residential Child Care and the roll out of the new qualification. In the meantime if you have any questions please contact Anne Tavendale, Learning and Development Manager:

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is a key principle underpinning the Standard and will make a significant contribution to gaining the required number of credits at SCQF level 9 for the existing workforce. Those new to the sector will begin their learning by completion of an SVQ/HNC.

We have agreed arrangements for RPL and the full details of this are in our updated Frequently Asked Questions.

Further information

You can read a background paper outlining the development process of the Standard and the research paper which informed the process below: