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13 Jul 2021

SSSC registration

Regulating managers of registered services

The Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) have updated their guidance on the regulation of managers.

What is required to be the registered manager of a care service?

Before being appointed, registered managers (the named manager on the Care Inspectorate Certificate of Registration) are required by the Care Inspectorate to hold a relevant practitioner qualification as a minimum. In order to make decisions on the competency of staff and the quality of care being provided, managers of registered services must be qualified to at least the level of the practitioners working in the service. Practice qualifications held by the named manager must meet the requirements of the SSSC as a practitioner for the relevant part of the Register.

This means that named managers are generally expected to be qualified to SCQF Level 7. For example, if the service is registered as a care home service for adults, the named manager would need to already hold one of the following qualifications:

  • SVQ Social Services and Healthcare SCQF Level 7
  • any practice award in the supervisor or manager category
  • HNC in Social Services.

To find out more about suitable practice awards that meet the SSSC practitioner qualification requirements go to the Help with Register parts, fees and qualifications tool.

What does this mean for new registration applications with the Care Inspectorate?

Applicants applying to register a new service must ensure the person they propose to appoint as manager has the relevant knowledge, skills and experience to manage the service in addition to a relevant practitioner qualification (meeting SSSC criteria).

An applicant’s safer recruitment policy should reflect this.

What does this mean for existing services?

Providers of existing services, who are proposing to appoint a new manager, must ensure the person to be appointed holds a relevant practitioner level qualification (meeting SSSC criteria) as well as having the skills and experience to manage the service.

Why do the SSSC’s requirements differ?

The SSSC will register individual applicants without qualifications, granting registration with a condition to gain the required qualification, which should be achieved within the first period of registration.

The SSSC is governed by different legislation, with registration being granted unless there are significant concerns regarding character and conduct to be registered as an individual. The SSSC is not responsible for monitoring the decisions of providers in appointing a suitable manager. The Care Inspectorate holds this responsibility and requires appointed managers to hold a suitable practice qualification.

This policy only applies to the named manager of a care service registered with the Care Inspectorate rather than to the larger number of managers on the manager part of the SSSC Register.

Why does the registered manager need to hold a practice qualification?

This position reflects the fundamental role that managers have in ensuring the quality of care of people experiencing their service and is in line with other care regulators across the UK. In light of the fact that managers provide leadership for staff and ultimately make decisions regarding the competence and fitness of staff, we believe that managers having relevant practice knowledge to fulfil this role is a reasonable expectation.

Currently a small number of named managers do not hold a practitioner level qualification and in these circumstances providers will be encouraged to support managers to gain the qualifications to meet SSSC qualification requirements. This policy is not being applied retrospectively.

If a manager of a registered service is absent for any reason and acting-up arrangements are put in place we would expect the person acting up to hold a practitioner qualification and have the relevant knowledge, skills and experience. This would also apply to services where temporary management arrangements have been put in place while the provider is recruiting a new manager.

If you have any questions about the regulation of managers please use the web form on our Contact us page

Contact information

Lorraine Wakefield
Communications Manager
Scottish Social Services Council