The consultation proposes that responsibility for setting standards for social work moves to a new National Social Work Agency and training and development requirements for social care workforce to the National Care Service. The SSSC, which is currently responsible, says it has ‘significant concerns’ about these proposals.
SSSC Chief Executive Lorraine Gray said: ‘We welcome the proposed development of a National Care Service and are pleased to see the proposals recognise the important role of regulation in delivering it.
‘However, it is vital that setting standards for qualifications and continuous training and development requirements remain independent and sit with the regulator, so the public can have confidence in care.
‘Like us, social work and social care regulators across the UK rightly have responsibility for qualification standards and setting training and development requirements. We work together to ensure there are common standards across the four nations. It’s critical that social work and social care in Scotland remain part of that UK-wide approach to avoid unforeseen consequences for workers moving to different areas.’
The SSSC consultation response welcomes the focus on the importance of regulation in the proposed National Care Service and makes the following main points.
- There should be an Executive Director of Social Care, to reinforce care as a profession and an equal partner to health.
- Responsibility for qualification standards and training and development should remain with the SSSC.
- There should be stronger enforcement of the SSSC Codes of Practice for Employers, whether by the Care Inspectorate or moving it to the SSSC.
- A Fair Work accreditation scheme should be mandatory to support overall improvement in the sector.
- Commissioning should have a focus on the workforce and include funding for training and development.
- Consideration should be given to extending SSSC registration to other groups of workers including adult day care workers, social work assistants and community justice workers.
- Further work is needed to explore whether personal assistants and healthcare assistants should also be registered.
- The Scottish Government needs to take a similar approach to social care workforce planning as they already do for health.
You can read the full SSSC response to the National Care Service consultation on our website.