Standard for Residential Child Care and RPL arrangements published

We have published the Standard for Residential Child Care with a foreword from Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Mark McDonald MSP.

Your learningIn his foreword he says:

‘The challenges set for the residential child care workforce in the last decade around qualifications and registration with the SSSC have been considerable and I am impressed by the commitment and ability shown by those providing and working in residential child care to rise to these challenges.’

He concludes:

‘I want to make sure we have confident, competent and dedicated workers contributing towards positive outcomes for children and families and providing the types of high quality services they need. That is why I am committed to a programme to improve their status and professionalism which is advanced by the publication of this Standard.’

As well as publishing the Standard we have published the arrangements for the recognition of prior learning (RPL) for people working in residential child care. This includes the qualifications they hold or the skills and experience gained in their work setting that may count towards credit for the new qualifications.

Full details of the RPL arrangements are in the updated Frequently Asked Questions document on our website. The FAQs also include example pathways to achieve the new Standard.

Next steps

As we and SQA approve learning providers to deliver the degree in residential child care at SCQF level 9 or the PDA residential child care at SCQF level 9 we will put their contact details in our newsletter and on our website.


Who When How long do you have to gain the qualification?
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 in October 2017 would have until 2022
  • a worker due to renew their registration in 2021 would have until 2026.

The centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) has also published the Residential Child Care Workforce Qualifications Summary report which looks at the qualifications of the current residential child care workforce, identifying strengths and also where support and resources might be needed to implement the new qualification.

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