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More than 56,000 social service workers across Scotland have to gain qualifications over the next four years to meet conditions on their registration with the SSSC.

Both the SSSC and the Care Inspectorate are keen that employers plan support for their workforce to make sure they gain their qualifications on time so they are able to continue their SSSC registration and working in the sector.

SSSC Head of Registration, Cheryl Campbell said: ‘Getting a qualified workforce is part of the drive to improve standards of practice in social services in Scotland.

‘The qualifications required outline the skills, knowledge and understanding employers have told us are necessary for an effective workforce. Workers are given up to five years to gain a qualification which will on average only take around 12-18 months to complete.

‘Giving each worker five years to achieve a qualification allows employers to prioritise their workers’ access to qualifications and allows workers to make sure the role is right for them before investing in a qualification.’

Care Inspectorate Chief Executive, Peter Macleod said: ‘We support the SSSC’s work in registering workers in social care services. Highly skilled and knowledgeable staff are vital in ensuring that there are positive outcomes for people experiencing care.

‘We take account of registration during our inspections of services and together with SSSC encourage employers to ensure their workers are properly qualified and registered.’

Qualification conditions

Staff can start work in social services without needing to hold a qualification, but they do have to gain the benchmark qualification within five years of registering, which is a condition of their continued registration.

Employers must support workers to gain their qualification as outlined in the SSSC Code of Practice for Employers of Social Service Workers:

Code 3.3 You will support staff who need to be registered with us to meet the conditions for registration and the requirement for continuing professional development.

Deadlines approaching

Over the next four years the number of workers reaching the deadline for meeting their registration condition will increase, with 56,681 workers due to gain a qualification by August 2023.

Register parts with the highest number of workers still to gain a qualification are:

  • Support workers in a care home service for adults
  • Support workers in care at home service
  • Support workers in a housing support service.

The local authority areas where the numbers are highest are:

  • Glasgow City
  • City of Edinburgh
  • Fife
  • North Lanarkshire
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Aberdeen City
  • South Lanarkshire.

However every local authority area in Scotland still has workers with qualification conditions to meet by 2023.


There is some funding available for qualifications and you can read more about this on our website Funding for training article.