New qualification for residential child care workers

Scottish Government announce roll out of Standard for Residential Child Care

Your learningWe welcome today’s announcement from the Scottish Government of the introduction of a new qualification for residential child care.

Chief Executive of the SSSC, Anna Fowlie said:

‘The introduction of a new degree level qualification in residential child care is an important development. It makes a significant contribution to making sure that the workforce in residential child care build upon their skills and knowledge to help meet the recognised complex needs of looked after children and young people in Scotland.

‘Along with colleagues from the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) we have been working with the sector over the past two years to explain what the new Standard for Residential Child Care will mean for workers and employers and look forward to continuing to support development of the qualification.’

The Standard for Residential Child Care is the new benchmark which will underpin the development and delivery of Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 9 qualifications for the residential child care workforce.

The SSSC developed the Standard at the request of the Scottish Government following the recommendations of the Higher Aspirations, Brighter Futures – National Residential Child Care Initiative (NRCCI) Report, 2009.

Gaining the new qualification will be a requirement of SSSC registration for the residential child care workforce.  Managers, supervisors and all new starts in residential child care will be the first group required to achieve the new qualification followed by workers.

The recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a key principle underpinning the Standard and will make a significant contribution to gaining the required number of credits at SCQF level 9 for the existing workforce.

Timescales

Who

When

How long do you have to gain it?

Managers and supervisors From October 2017 Five years from the date of your re-registration
New starts From October 2017 Five years from date you register
Workers From October 2019 Five years from the date of your re-registration

For example:

  • a manager due to renew their registration in 2018 would have until 2023
  • a new worker registering after October 2017 would have until 2022
  • a worker due to renew their registration in 2021 would have until 2026.

Read the Scottish Government’s announcement here.

Related articles

Higher aspirations, brighter futures – The Standard for Residential Child Care in Scotland

38 Responses to “New qualification for residential child care workers”

  1. Chris Millar

    Mar 09. 2016

    I was interested to read the comment … ‘we have been working with the sector over the past two years to explain what the new Standard for Residential Child Care will mean for workers and employers’.

    I have asked in many different forums questions in relation to this qualification and have not been given any clear answer to my questions.

    1. Is there a description of the content of this degree? 2. Which University’s will be offering this degree? 3. I have a BA(Hons)~ Social Work and BSc Management, but no one can tell me if this will mean I will be credited for parts of the new degree? If so, what will I be credited for and what will I have to undertake with the new degree 4. Will the degree be offered in different formats such as distance learning, day release etc 5. As Scotland XL controls the budgets in Secure Care, how will this be funded for employees who work in this sector? 6. will I continue to receive my full salary when on placement?

    I am concerned that this qualification starts next year, yet many issues seem to be unclear.

    Reply to this comment
    • Pamela Fotheringham

      Mar 16. 2016

      Hi Chris, thank you for your questions. I have answered them below:

      Q1.Is there a description of the content of this degree?
      The Standard for Residential Child Care underpins the delivery of the degree level award therefore the standard will determine the content. Individual providers will determine the structure of the programme but within all programmes the content must meet the standard.

      Q2 Which universities will be offering this degree?
      This information will be available at a later stage.

      Q3 I have a BA(Hons)~ Social Work and BSc Management, but no one can tell me if this will mean I will be credited for parts of the new degree? If so, what will I be credited for and what will I have to undertake with the new degree
      There will be two routes to the new degree level qualification both of which are at SCQF level9. There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA) which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and can be delivered through a range of learning providers.

      A key principle underpinning the Standard is the Recognition of Prior Learning therefore you will get credit for the qualifications which you hold. The amount of credit you will receive will be determined by the learning provider.
      What you will undertake within the degree level award will also be determined by the learning provider.

      Q4. Will the degree be offered in different formats such as distance learning, day release etc
      It is anticipated that learning providers will deliver the level 9 award in different formats.

      Q5. As Scotland XL controls the budgets in Secure Care, how will this be funded for employees who work in this sector?
      Funding is not within the remit of SSSC. The Scottish Government is aware of questions raised by the sector regarding funding and this along with other practicalities related to the implementation of the degree level qualification will be given due consideration.

      Q6. Will I continue to receive my full salary when on placement?
      The Standard indicates that learners must have two learning experiences.
      Those registrants who already meet the requirements for SSSC registration will already have had their practice assessed and observed and this will form one of the learning experiences. They will only need to complete one further learning experience.
      The second learning experience can take various forms and does not require to be a placement. Should you undertake a placement practical arrangements would require to be agreed with your employer.

      Kind regards
      Pamela

      Reply to this comment
  2. Sonia Henry

    Mar 10. 2016

    I would be interested in finding out what type of degree will be recognised. I have been building on my credits since this was first discussed and was awarded an open degree last year. The content was all related to health and social care. This year I am doing Management and Leadership in health and social care which will give me an open degree with honours. However despite all the hard work trying to juggle study, work and family life l have yet to find out if this will be accepted.

    Reply to this comment
    • Pamela Fotheringham

      Mar 17. 2016

      Dear Sonia

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      You indicate that the content of your qualifications relate to health and social care however managers,supervisors and workers employed in the residential child care sector will require to hold a qualification which meets the Standard for Residential Child Care and has the required number of credits.

      The Standard specifies what is expected of those seeking registration with the SSSC as a manager,supervisor and worker in residential child care and underpins the development and delivery of the degree level qualification.
      There will be two routes to the new degree level qualification and both are at SCQF level9.There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA) which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and will be delivered through a range of learning providers.

      You do not have to start your training all over again to meet the new Standard for Residential Child Care as a key principle underpinning the Standard is the Recognition of Prior Learning.Therefore if you already meet the SSSC registration requirement you will not have to undertake the whole new award as you have qualifications which you should be able to use to gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).The amount of credit you will receive for your current qualifications will be determined by the learning provider.

      Reply to this comment
  3. J Steele

    Mar 10. 2016

    Can you tell me more about this degree and how is it being funded ? Really confused as I have never heard anything about this until your email ????

    Reply to this comment
    • Pamela Fotheringham

      Mar 17. 2016

      Hello

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      I am sorry that this is the first time you have heard about the new degree level qualification. A range of information events were held last year.

      It might be helpful if I begin by explaining the background to the development of the degree level award.

      The National Residential Child Care Initiative (NRCCI) was established in 2008 to meet the Scottish Government’s commitment to review residential child care services and recommend required change. The ambition was to make residential child care the first and best placement of choice for those who needs it serves.

      One of the recommendations of NRCCI’s Higher Aspirations, Brighter Futures report was:
      “Given the increasingly complex needs of children and young people and the professional tasks that require high level academic abilities, the workforce group believes that a minimum level of education at SCQF level 9 for workers, supervisors and managers would best equip them to undertake their work most effectively.”

      The Scottish Government asked the SSSC to develop a benchmark standard for the residential child care workforce and the outcome is the Standard for Residential Child Care in Scotland.

      The Standard specifies what is expected of those seeking registration with the SSSC as a manager, supervisor or worker in a residential child care service in Scotland. It also underpins the development and delivery of the degree level qualification which these staff will require to achieve.

      There will be two routes to new degree level qualification and both are at SCQF level9.There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA) which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and will be delivered through a range of learning providers.

      It is important to note that the Recognition of Prior Learning is a key principle underpinning the Standard, therefore if you already meet the SSSC registration requirement you will have qualifications which you should be able to use to gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).The amount of credit you receive will be determined by the learning provider.

      Funding is not within the remit of the SSSC. The Scottish Government is aware of questions raised by the sector regarding funding and this along with other practicalities related to the implementation of the degree level qualification will be given due consideration.
      I have attached the link on our website which provides further information about the Standard for Residential Child Care.

      http://www.sssc.uk.com/workforce-development/our-current-work/standard-for-residential-child-care

      Reply to this comment
  4. D. McGill

    Mar 10. 2016

    Having completed the honors degree in social work (residential childcare) would I now have to undertake further study? As the new qualification is set ar SCQF 9 I can only hope not, can you clarify please.

    Reply to this comment
    • Pamela Fotheringham

      Mar 17. 2016

      Hello
      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Managers, supervisors and workers employed in the residential child care sector will be required to hold a qualification that meets the Standard for Residential Child Care. While you will have to undertake some further study it is important to note that a key principle underpinning the Standard is the Recognition of Prior Learning. You will therefore gain credit for your qualification and not have to undertake the full award. The amount of credit you receive will be determined by the learning provider.

      There will be two routes to the new degree level qualification both at SCQF level9.There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA) which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and will be delivered through a range of learning providers.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Ruth Tudor

    Mar 12. 2016

    I have a degree in Health and Social Care, A Masters in Social Sciences and an SVQ3 in Children & Young People. Am I really going to have to get another degree????

    Reply to this comment
    • Pamela Fotheringham

      Mar 17. 2016

      Dear Ruth
      Thank you for your enquiry.

      The Standard for Residential Child Care is the new benchmark which will underpin the development and delivery of Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 9 qualifications for the residential child care workforce.

      Managers, supervisors and workers employed in the residential child care sector will therefore be required to hold a qualification that meets the Standard for Residential Child Care. While you will have to undertake some further study it is important to note that a key principle underpinning the Standard is the Recognition of Prior Learning. You will therefore gain credit for your qualification and not have to undertake the full award. The amount of credit you receive will be determined by the learning provider.
      There will be two routes to the new degree level qualification both at SCQF level9.There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA) which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and will be delivered through a range of learning providers.

      Reply to this comment
      • Ruth Tudor

        Mar 17. 2016

        Thank you for your response. I have to echo the others who feel this is rather sort sighted. I have two degrees, an SVQ, currently teach HNC Social Care and am working toward a teaching qualification. I am really disappointed that the SSSC keep moving the goal posts and making me (and others in the same position) jump through yet more hoops. You could have put a grandfather clause in this that could have worked for those of us with more experience, a certain time on the register or already achieved qualifications. Like others I now have to reconsider my postion, which disappoints me as I really enjoy my job.

        Reply to this comment
        • MS Elaine Johnstone

          Jun 25. 2016

          Dear Ruth,

          Please read my reply to David Compton on Ms Anna Fowlie’s article: One year on – Anna Fowlie reflects on what it means to be a corporate parent.

          http://ssscnews.uk.com/2016/04/26/one-year-on-anna-fowlie-reflects-on-what-it-means-to-be-a-corporate-parent/

          Likewise I feel that I have gained a Social Sciences Degree in 2014 which the SSSC have refused to accept, even though Edinburgh Napier University clearly claims that the degree can carry students into Social Care careers. Now I am left feeling as though my 2.1 B.A (Hons) Social Sciences Degree seems almost worthless while trying to gain employment in Social Care.

          I recently noticed that the Applied Social Science Degree Prospects from the Robert Gordon University also claims that graduates in the Applied Social Sciences Degree can go into Health and Social Care management careers. Yet it is my understanding that the SSSC do not accept the Social Sciences Degree due to no practical placement assessed learning gained by students while studying at university for the Social Sciences Degree.

          I feel academic institutions are informing students about careers in Social Care settings yet the SSSC do not accept the Social Sciences Degree. Which in my opinion is very misleading for students. I have been advised to gain a SQV or HNC qualification in Social Care to register myself with SSSC. Even though I have a student SAAS loan to pay back as a result of spending four years recently in university studying full time.

          I have contacted Ms Angela Constance (SNP), Ms Hanna Bardell (SNP) and Mr Willie Rennie (Scottish Lib Dems) about the problems I now face as a Social Sciences graduate trying to gain employment in Social Care roles that require SSSC registration. Maybe more people should think about contacting members of Scottish Parliament to highlight the problems in Social Care employment regarding university qualifications and SSSC registration. Especially when there is a increasing need for employees in Social Care services.

          Ms Elaine Johnstone

          Reply to this comment
  6. Kathryn Morrow

    Mar 12. 2016

    I have been working in childcare at the same nursery for the past 16yrs and conformed to all changes as they have come along. This year i will be 57 and have no intentions of doing a degree. In my opinion you will be losing a dedicated and experienced practitioner.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Kirsty McElhinney

    Mar 13. 2016

    I have similar questions to those already asked. I am a newly appointed senior children services practitioner and therefore have supervisory responsibilities for staff. I have a BA in Community Learning and Development. Will this suffice? Or will more training be needed? I am delighted to see that as a country Scotland is making a commitment to its vulnerable children by having fully competent and qualified staff but feel more information is needed

    Reply to this comment
    • Pamela Fotheringham

      Mar 17. 2016

      Dear Kirsty

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      The requirement to gain the new degree level qualification only applies to managers,supervisors and workers in the residential child care sector.

      I just wanted to clarify which sector you are working in

      Reply to this comment
      • Kirsty McElhinney

        Mar 30. 2016

        Hi, I am a manager for residential units across Midlothian Residential Services. We have two under 16 units, one 16 plus unit and a residential flat. I currently supervise ten staff members. Will I have to study for the new degree despite my qualifications detailed above. Thanks

        Reply to this comment
  8. Kathryn Morrow

    Mar 14. 2016

    I think I may have read the statement wrong. Do nursery practitioners need a degree?

    Reply to this comment
    • Sandra Wilson

      Mar 14. 2016

      Hi Kathryn,

      Nursery practitioners are not required to gain a degree. This qualification is for residential child care workers only.

      Kind regards
      Sandra

      Reply to this comment
      • Kathryn Morrow

        Mar 14. 2016

        Thank you for the reply. My apologies for not reading it properly in the first place.

        Reply to this comment
  9. Elaine

    Mar 14. 2016

    Do after school care lead practitioners have to have a degree

    Reply to this comment
  10. J Mcphail

    Mar 15. 2016

    I suppose this is all part of the continuous learning theme? however as much as this is laudable it creates another bout of job insecurity for those who have enough to do. Learning and training will always be essential but where does the line get drawn??.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Kevin Thomson

    Mar 17. 2016

    I’m almost at the end of an HNC/SVQ 3 social care, having needed this to secure a position in residential childcare. I’m 44 and am now staring down the barrel of a four year degree course. so I will be fast approaching 50 when finally qualified. In the mean time I’m trying to juggle work, further education and a family.
    I agree that year on year training and development is necessary in this role but I feel this decision will really only benefit younger people who are leaving school and going to university and have the freedom to undertake degree level education not to mention the institutions of learning and student loans company who stand to benefit financially, as for those who have years in the field and the life experience that makes them the able practitioners they are then unless already qualified this revelation creates an environment of uncertainty regarding job security and their own futures. I myself am now faced with the difficult decision whether to pursue the career I’ve worked towards knowing how much more time away from my family and money this further qualification will cost or try at my age to turn my hand to something new in the hope to have a realistic work/life balance.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Pamela Fotheringham

    Mar 22. 2016

    Dear Kevin

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Hopefully I can provide some information which will be helpful.

    There will be two routes to new degree level qualification and both are at SCQF level9.There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA) which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and will be delivered through a range of learning providers.

    It is important to note that the Recognition of Prior Learning is a key principle underpinning the Standard and you would get credit for your HNC/SVQ.

    All programmes will include a substantial amount of time spent in workplace settings. Learning will be closely bound to your work role.

    Through the experience of performing the work role, complemented by other activities such as directed reading, researching given areas and group work, learners will achieve planned learning outcomes that can be evidenced and assessed.

    Funding is not within the remit of the SSSC. The Scottish Government is aware of questions raised by the sector regarding funding and this along with other practicalities related to the implementation of the degree level qualification will be given due consideration.

    Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information.

    Kind Regards

    Reply to this comment
  13. Pleonard

    Apr 12. 2016

    Would students who are interested in Residential Childcare be advised to apply straight to uni or would HNC social care be an optional route? What would the entry requirements for the new degree?

    Reply to this comment
    • Vanessa Glenday

      Apr 15. 2016

      Thank you for your comment.

      At the time of writing there is no direct entry to the degree.

      If someone is new to residential child care and has no previous qualifications they would begin their studies through the completion of SVQ/HNC. It is through the SVQ that observed /assessed practice will be achieved.

      They would then go on to complete the degree level qualification. The entry requirements will be set by the learning provider.

      It may be helpful to note that there will be two routes to the new degree level qualification both at SCQF level9.There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA)SCQF level9 which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and can be delivered by a range of learning providers.
      In order to achieve either award candidates will require to have
      120 credits at SCQF level7
      120 credits at SCQF level8
      120 credits at SCQF level 9.

      A key principle underpinning the new standard is the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).The amount of credit candidates will receive for their current qualifications will be determined by the learning provider.

      Find out more about the Standard in our frequently asked questions page on our website http://www.sssc.uk.com/about-the-sssc/multimedia-library/publications/70-education-and-training/standard-for-residential-child-care-faqs

      Pamela Fotheringham
      SSSC Workforce Development and Planning Adviser

      Reply to this comment
  14. Tom Starrs

    Apr 15. 2016

    Hi

    If staff already have an SVQ award at SCQF level 9 will they need to do the degree award which I understand will be at SCQF level 9?

    Regards
    Tom

    Reply to this comment
    • Vanessa Glenday

      Apr 15. 2016

      Thank you for getting in touch Tom.

      Yes, managers, supervisors and workers employed in the residential child care sector will require to hold a qualification which meets the Standard for Residential Child Care and has the required number of credits.

      Staff do not have to start their training all over again to meet the new Standard for Residential Child Care as a key principle underpinning the Standard is the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Therefore if staff already meet the SSSC registration requirement they will not have to undertake the whole new award as they have qualifications which they should be able to use to gain RPL. The amount of credit they will receive for their current qualifications will be determined by the learning provider.

      There will be two routes to the new degree level qualification and both are at SCQF level9. There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA) which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and will be delivered through a range of learning providers.

      Thanks
      Vanessa

      Reply to this comment
  15. Rachael Davies

    Apr 26. 2016

    Hello,

    Please could you explain the educational route for new residential care workers please? From the information I’ve read a new start would have to gain their HNC then an SVQ and then work towards the degree. Is this correct and if so how many years of study is this?

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  16. Pamela Fotheringham

    May 05. 2016

    Dear Rachael

    There will be two routes to the new degree level qualification and both are at SCQF level9. There will be a degree route which will be delivered by universities. There will also be a Professional Development Award (PDA) which is being developed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and will be delivered through a range of learning providers.
    The degree level qualification comprises of a total of 360 SCQF credit points :
    120 credits at SCQF level7
    120credits at SCQF level8
    120 credits at SCQF level 9
    If you are new to residential child care and have no previous qualifications you will begin your studies by undertaking SVQ/HNC. It is through the SVQ that observed /assessed practice will be achieved. You would then have 120credits SCQF level7 .
    I cannot give a definitive answer regarding the number of years study .

    Find out more about the Standard in our frequently asked questions page on our website http://www.sssc.uk.com/about-the-sssc/multimedia-library/publications/70-education-and-training/standard-for-residential-child-care-faqs

    Pamela Fotheringham
    SSSC Workforce Development and Planning Adviser

    Find out more about the Standard in our frequently asked questions page on our website http://www.sssc.uk.com/about-the-sssc/multimedia-library/publications/70-education-and-training/standard-for-residential-child-care-faqs

    Reply to this comment
  17. Scotsbushman

    May 06. 2016

    I was today told I will be required to start the pda in 2017 due to the renewal of my registration. I was told about the 120 credit points for each of the levels 7,8 and 9 and this would be assessed with what I already have attained so far. I know I will have to do this to remain in RCC but feel annoyed at having to pay for it myself to keep doing my job as funding is not clear as yet.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Ian Ross

    May 24. 2016

    Have heard of the new degree qualification that is to come into effect and considering I work in a residential unit and work a 12 hour day when will I have the time to study. I studied in Aberdeen for a year doing the same hours which I did after work. Not liking the idea that I am being asked to study when I do these kind of hours and then possibly be asked to study when I’m on breaks or holiday which will then mean I will not be having any time to relax and have a break from work.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Sophie Oliver

    May 26. 2016

    Hi, I currently have an HNC, SVQ level 4 and also a diploma in childhood studies (one unit short of a BA Degree). I have received mixed communication regarding my progression to the PDA as I have been informed I would have to go back and study and SVQ level 3 before I can start studying my PDA? Can you tell me if this is the case, as I am already qualified higher than a SVQ 3 and have credits from level 9 studies already?

    Thanks

    Reply to this comment
    • Pamela Fotheringham

      Jul 02. 2016

      Dear Sophie

      My apologies for the delay in responding to your query.There seems to have been a glitch in the system.

      In order to accurately respond to your query I would need to know which HNC and SVQ level 4 you hold.I appreciate that this is personal information and you may not wish to put this on a public platform.

      You may wish to email me with this information however I am about to have some annual leave and in order to prevent further delay you could email the details of your qualifications to my colleague Ann McSorley who will arrange for someone in the team to respond to your query.

      ann.mcsorley@sssc.uk.com

      Kind Regards

      Pamela

      Reply to this comment
  20. Lesley Ragan

    Jun 23. 2016

    I work as a House matron in an independent Boarding School and I have an SVQ level 3 Children and Young People – will I need to have this degree?

    Reply to this comment
    • Pamela Fotheringham

      Jun 29. 2016

      Hello Lesley

      In your role as a House Matron in an independent boarding school you are not required to achieve the new degree level award.

      Regards

      Pamela

      Reply to this comment
  21. Joe Gibb

    Jun 27. 2016

    Hi Pamela,

    As you may be aware I have major reservations with regard to the introduction of the PDA as a way of qualifying the workforce. In respect of this I was hoping you would be able to pass comment in respect of the two queries below. Thanks in advance.

    Can I ask what research has been undertaken to ensure the PDA in residential childcare will provide practitioners with the right skills and knowledge on completion of the award?

    In terms of the PDA vs a more traditional degree, will employees have the option of what route of learning they wish to take or will the employing organisation make that decision ?

    Reply to this comment
  22. Pamela Fotheringham

    Jul 02. 2016

    Dear Joe
    The degree in Residential Child Care and the PDA in Residential Child Care are both at SCQF level 9 .

    Through the required Quality Assurance processes each qualification will have to demonstrate that it meets the requirements of the Standard for Residential Child Care.

    Learning providers whishing to deliver the PDA will require to be approved by SQA and SSSC.

    In relation to your second point employees will continue to use current means of accessing qualifications.

    Kind Regards

    Pamela

    Reply to this comment

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