You can read more about the Register for the future consultation response here.
This Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) consultation sets out our proposals to improve and streamline the way people working in social work, social care and early years services in Scotland apply to register. We are proposing changes to the Register, to our processes and to the qualifications we accept for registration.
We want being registered with us to be simple and easy to understand. And to make sure that people know about the benefits and value of being registered and the standards, skills and qualifications needed to deliver high quality care.
You can find out more about what we do, our vision, aims and responsibilities on our About us page.
Watch our short video which explains the changes we are proposing and why.
Why do we want to make changes to registration and qualifications?
We opened the Register to social workers back in 2003, gradually introducing registration to other categories of the workforce including people working in early years and children’s, adults and older people’s social care services. We now have more than 164,000 people on our Register.
During this time, we’ve listened to feedback and made improvements to our processes. However, we recognise that the structure of the Register needs to change to reflect changing and emerging roles as well as changes in the way services are delivered.
And as social work, social care and early years services and the way people access and use them have changed over the past 20 years, so too have the skills, knowledge and qualifications the workforce needs to be able to deliver the high quality care we want for Scotland. Integrated care and health service delivery and emerging developments such as the design of a new National Care Service and the commitments outlined in The Promise will also have an impact.
What changes are we proposing?
You’ll find the full proposals set out in the consultation survey and there’s a link in the section below explaining how you can take part in the consultation.
There are two parts: Part 1 - Registration and Part 2 - Qualifications, Skills and Learning. Here are the proposals at a glance.
We are proposing to:
- reduce the number of different parts of the Register
- review the time people have to apply to register when they start a new social care or early years job
- update and streamline the processes for applying and renewing registration to make it quicker and easier
- change the information about registrants which is visible to the public when they search the Register on our website
- remove the registration period which is either five or three years and bring in an ongoing registration period
- make qualifications more flexible so people can move more easily to work in different kinds of services
- change the level of the qualification required for people working at support worker level in adult social care
- review the length of time registrants have to complete their qualifications for registration
- develop return to practice standards for social workers and, potentially, other registrants who have not worked in the sector for a period of time
- change the continuous professional learning (CPL) requirements to include mandatory learning and skills development.
When do you plan to bring in any of the changes you propose?
Most of the changes we are recommending need changes to the legislation. Once we’ve analysed your responses, we aim to bring a proposal to our Council at its meeting in May 2022. While there are some changes we can make quickly, Scottish Government Ministers and/or the Scottish Parliament will need to approve others. We hope to start making the changes from 2023 but this will depend on the time required for changes to our rules and to legislation.
How can I take part in the consultation and when does it close?
We recognise this is a particularly challenging time for our sector. The changes we are proposing will mean real improvements in the longer term and your views will make sure that the changes make a difference.
The consultation opens on 20 December 2021 and closes on 14 March 2022.
Once you’ve read the proposals, you can give respond to the questions by clicking on the link below. There are three sections to complete:
- About you
- Part 1
- Part 2.
We will ask if you are responding as someone on our Register, a service employer or provider, a training or learning provider, a member of the public, someone who uses social services or on behalf of another organisation. You will then see the survey questions.
We don’t ask for your name or other personal information. If you reply on behalf of a service or other organisation, we ask for the name of the service or organisation.
What happens after the consultation closes?
After the closing date we will analyse the information and feedback. We aim to take a proposal to our Council at its meeting in May 2022 and we will publish the results of the consultation after the meeting.
We are running online events from January to March 2022 where we will explain the proposals and you can ask questions and give us your feedback.