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After six years, Jim McGoldrick is set to retire from his post as Convener of the SSSC at the end of August as his term comes to an end. 

Jim joined the organisation in 2013, bringing with him a wealth of experience across several sectors including health. During his time at the SSSC, Jim has seen significant developments both for the organisation and its staff and across the social service sector.

‘In my six years here, we’ve seen the Register grow to include over 130,000 people working in social services. That’s 130,000 people who either have or are working towards their qualifications and are working to the SSSC Codes of Practice, which set out the high standards they must meet and that people using services can expect.

‘Developing a world class social service workforce for Scotland continues to be a priority and will be the focus for the SSSC over the next few years. We’ve continued to lay the foundations, developing the right qualifications and free learning resources, offering different routes to learning and skills development for people whether they are entering the sector from school, changing career or building on their experience.

‘We’ve also reviewed the SSSC Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers and made changes to our fitness to practise model. The improvements to our processes are already making a difference and while we still have more to do, we are going in the right direction. 

‘Continuing to work alongside the Care Inspectorate, we’ve established strong partnerships with, for example, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and our Skills for Care and Development partners and built new relationships across health as the integration of health and social care continues across Scotland. 

‘In the last year the SSSC successfully implemented its digital transformation programme. Staff and people using our services are already seeing the impact, with improvements to applying for registration online to fitness to practise case management, which are just two examples. 

‘The first event I attended as SSSC Convener was Scotland’s Dementia Awards, which I’ve attended every year since and which has had a lasting impact, both for the stories told and the determination to improve the lives of people living with dementia. Alongside this, I’ve seen the Dementia Ambassadors programme grow and thrive beyond social services and health into other areas like education.

‘I’ve had the pleasure of meeting lots of people working in social services during my time as Convener. Their stories of the work they do to help and support people using services and carers paints a compelling picture of truly life changing work, both for them and the people they work with. It ranges from little ones in childcare settings, care experienced children and young people, supporting people with learning and physical disabilities, those facing addiction and health problems and helping our older people continue to live well. 

‘My time as Convener has flown by and being part of the SSSC has been very rewarding, with a few challenges along the way to make life interesting. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time, working with dedicated people who are committed to making a difference through the work that we do. I know colleagues will welcome the new Convener Sandra Campbell, who takes up the role in September. Meanwhile, although I’m leaving the SSSC, I’m not completely retiring just yet, so watch this space.’