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As a social service employer you will know how important it is that you recruit people with the right skills and values who understand their roles and responsibilities and are fit to practise.

The guidance document, Safer Recruitment Through Better Recruitment (developed jointly by the SSSC, Care Inspectorate and other partners), helps social service employers meet legislative and regulatory requirements for safer recruitment of people working in social services.

Read Safer Recruitment Through Better Recruitment here.

What potential employees must tell you

During the application process it is essential to ask potential employees to list any previous or current disciplinary matters and provide details of two referees, one of which should always be a suitable person from the worker’s most recent employment.

What you should tell potential employees

You should make clear to all applicants that on recruitment you will carry out a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme record check and they will be required to register with the SSSC within six months of taking up post.


When asking for references, send a copy of the job description and person specification to the referee to show them what is expected of the worker. One reference must be from a senior manager in the worker’s current or most recent employment. We advise that you follow up references by phoning the organisation to speak to the person who provided the reference. By doing this you can then confirm the identity of the referee and obtain more detail on the information provided.

Check the Register

If the worker is SSSC registered you can check the Register on the SSSC website to see if the worker has any current sanctions on their registration and/or has been removed from the Register.

Agency workers

If you have any concerns about a worker from an employment agency you should contact the agency to tell them and using the SSSC referral guidelines, decide if you should also contact the SSSC. It may be tempting to stop using the worker and not to make a formal complaint, but it is important to remember this worker is still able to work elsewhere and if there is fitness to practise concerns this worker could place people who use services at risk of harm.

For more information on when to refer to the SSSC visit our website here.