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31 May 2021

Social service workforce Your learning

NQSW Supported Year early implementation funding

Funding for the early implementation of the mandatory newly qualified social worker (NQSW) Supported Year is now available. All local authority, independent and third sector NQSW employers can apply for funding.

The Scottish Government has allocated funding of £300,000 to support employers with early implementation of the NQSW Supported Year. Applicants need to demonstrate their history of employing NQSWs, currently employ NQSWs and/or anticipate the start of NQSWs within the grant period.

Funding allocation

SSSC Register data indicates the majority of NQSWs are employed by local authorities, so we expect funding applications to align with this employment pattern. Applications from employers working in partnership are welcomed to maximise capacity building across Scotland.

The funding is intended to offer employers the opportunity to use it in a flexible way to meet responsibilities and embed the core elements of the NQSW Supported Year within local arrangements and systems.

There is a limit of £30,000 per application for organisations or £50,000 for partnerships. Organisations can only submit one application.

How to apply

Read the NQSW Early Implementation Grant Scheme guidance and complete the application form here.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 16 July 2021.

Information sessions

We will host two information sessions for employers when you will have the chance to find out more and ask questions. You can book your place on Eventbrite for:

If you have any questions, please contact

NQSW Supported Year project progress

The NQSW Supported Year outlines the minimum support and learning opportunities required to ensure NQSWs can evidence consolidation and development of their social work professional practice in line with their responsibilities as an employee and as a registered social worker. Professional supervision and professional development are central to the approach.

Over the past year we have been working with others to refine the approach and create resources to support NQSWs, supervisors and employers. The programme of work is overseen by a stakeholder Implementation Group.

Some of the things we have done

  • Defined the minimum core elements of support required for all NQSWs.
  • Commissioned the development of supervision and professional development resources specifically for the NQSW Supported Year.
  • Refined the draft NQSW standards to reflect the core characteristics of social work practice.
  • Collaborated with universities to develop and embed a transitions resource as part of the curriculum for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • Developed a dedicated website for NQSWs in Scotland, their employers and their managers/supervisors, which we’ll launch in early summer.
  • Prepared for the early implementation of the mandatory NQSW Supported Year.

Next steps

Over the next year we will:

  • provide grant funding to support a small-scale early implementation of the NQSW Supported Year from July 2021 and work with employers to prepare and throughout delivery
  • refine the approach and evolve the NQSW website as we learn from early implementation
  • develop resources to support NQSW in rural areas
  • confirm the process for evidencing continuous professional learning (CPL) SSSC registration requirements for NQSWs
  • make recommendations to Scottish Government on the NQSW Supported Year in March 2022
  • keep everyone up to date.


The Scottish Government commissioned us to lead on a project to design and test approaches which will lead to a set of recommendations on how to implement and deliver a sustainable and accessible national approach to a mandatory NQSW Supported Year.

The approach aims to develop a best practice model to support NQSW transition to the workforce which ensures an increasingly confident and competent workforce for people who use services and their families. The Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser (OCSWA) at Scottish Government support a mandatory approach to the NQSW Supported Year.

Read more on the NQSW page of our website.

Contact information

Lorraine Wakefield
Communications Manager
Scottish Social Services Council