From 1 November 2016 we will change the way we regulate social service workers from a misconduct model of regulation to a fitness to practise model.
The key change is that under the new model we will focus on whether or not a worker’s fitness to practise is impaired because of their conduct, professional practice or health rather than on whether they have committed misconduct.
This model means we can deal more effectively with situations where the safety of people who use services is at risk, eg where the health of a worker places it at risk. It’s fairer to workers as those with professional practice and health issues avoid having their behaviour labelled as being misconduct.
There will also be changes to the SSSC Codes of Practice and our registration application form.
Over the last year we’ve consulted on the changes and on drafting the new Rules and Decisions Guidance that go along with the changes. We also consulted on the Codes of Practice to make sure that they reflect current practice. We would like to thank everyone who gave their views. You can see the feedback from the consultation on our website.
How will this affect employers?
We’ve also reviewed the situations when an employer has to make a referral. Under the new requirements, employers will refer where there is a concern that the worker’s fitness to practise may be impaired. This is different from the current requirements where employers must refer all misconduct. This will help make sure that the focus is on serious issues.
New referral forms and guidance will be available soon and we will speak with employers and workers about the effect of these changes on current cases. Until then you should continue to make referrals as usual.