SSSC_Master_Logo_TypestyleSocial services

There are about 190,000 social service workers in Scotland today working in a range of settings with a variety of different people who use services. Social service workers include people working in social work and social care, such as care home services for adults and children/young people in the community and early years settings such as nurseries or out of school care clubs.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is responsible for registering people who work in social services and regulating their education and training. Visit their website here or call 0345 60 30 891 (between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm on a Wednesday)

SSSC Register

To register with the SSSC a worker must satisfy the criteria for registration. This includes holding the appropriate qualifications for the job they do and being able to evidence good character. Applicants for registration who do not hold the required qualifications may be registered with the condition that they achieve the required qualifications within a specified time. Registration is compulsory for many groups of social service workers. The Register for social workers and students is based on either holding or studying for a suitable social work qualification.

Qualifications for registration must meet specified requirements. These include that they are recognised with the SCQF or another national qualifications framework.

The qualifications for each part of the Register are at:

Workforce Solutions Portal

Meeting the expectations in the workforce development and registration agendas for the sector can be quite challenging. The SSSC has developed a range of resources to assist employers to meet these challenges. Some are focused on supporting the individual employee to plan and progress their own learning and development, others are intended for employers to support them in developing the workforce they need now, or may need in the future. This site is designed to give access to these tools.

Recognition of Prior Informal Learning

The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process recognises learning which has not been previously assessed or credit rated, as well as knowledge and skills that can be transferred from one learning situation to another. This includes knowledge and skills gained outside formal learning situations through life and work experiences.

The RPL profiling tools support learners in identifying the extent to which they have achieved the elements of the core units through their life, work and learning experiences. It aims to help learners recognise the ways in which they have applied, and built on, the skills and knowledge they have gained through these experiences to their current social care practice. The process is designed to support learners in their achievement of a qualification.

This area contains digital versions of the RPL Evidence Gathering and Profiling materials along with worked examples and some e-learning activities to help individuals prepare for making and RPL claim.

National Occupational Standards (NOS) Navigator

NOS Navigator is a simple, easy to use tool to help you find your way around the national occupational standards for the social service sector in Scotland and find the units you need for your SVQ.

Childhood Practice

The Childhood Practice awards are designed to put Scotland at the forefront of the development of integrated qualifications for early years and child care practitioners. All managers of daycare of children’s services will be required to gain the new awards at SCQF level 9, for registration with the SSSC.

The Childhood Practice award is a work-based qualification and delivery of the award is flexible; candidates are not required to leave their management responsibilities to attend university or college on a full-time basis.

The awards in Childhood Practice are made up of 360 credits at SCQF levels 7, 8 and 9. Credit is given upon entry to the award to those who hold qualifications which map to the Standard for Childhood Practice (2007); for example a candidate entering with the SVQ level 4 in Children’s Care Learning and Development (CCLD) may be awarded between 100-110 SCQF credits at level 8.

Social work degree and postgraduate courses

Six case study learning materials are available to support the assessment of practice learning within the Standards in Social Work Education (SiSWE) against levels 9 and 10 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Practice Learning Qualifications (Social Services) PLQ(SS)

The Practice Learning Qualifications (Social Services) (PLQ(SS)) are a set of qualifications to enable those involved in supporting practice learning at all levels of their organisation to gain recognition for their knowledge and skills. PLQ(SS) programmes are approved by the SSSC under the Rules and Requirements for Specialist Training for Social Service Workers in Scotland 2005.

The qualifications are located within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and are staged at different levels to reflect the range of roles people undertake in supporting learning, not just of social work students, but also in the wider workforce. Credit rating and SCQF levelling is as follows:

• Stage 1 SCQF level 7 (20 credits)
• Stage 2 SCQF level 9 (40 credits)
• Stage 3 SCQF level 10 (60 credits)
• Stage 4 SCQF level 11 (60 Credits)

Guidance on claiming Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer towards the PLQ(SS) has been developed to assist candidates who may hold other relevant qualifications or experience.

Management qualifications

When registering with the SSSC managers of services must hold or gain any award in management that is certificated at or above SCQF Level 8* (minimum of 60 credits) showing evidence the award has been mapped against the National Occupational Standards (NOS) Leadership and Management for Care Services.

Training providers wishing to confirm that their management programmes lead to an award that fulfils this criteria need to provide evidence to the SSSC that the programme is recognised within their own institution as a management programme and that it fulfills the criteria of mapping outlined above. This evidence may be in the form of a grid showing where the institution’s course maps to the required NOS. The evidence should be accompanied by a letter from the Academic Registrar, Dean or Head of Faculty confirming the course meets the criteria outlined above and the quality assurance standard set by their own institution, QAA or the appropriate awarding body.