Our annual report and accounts 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017 was published today (12 December 2017).
Publication of the revised Codes of Practice and moving to a fitness to practise model of regulation were two major achievements for us in 2016-17.
We hadn’t updated the Codes since we first published them in 2003 and we consulted extensively with the sector to revise them and make sure they reflect current practice and policy.
During the consultation our registrants told us they liked printed copies so as part of the revised Codes launch in November 2016 we sent out more than 125,000 copies as well as making them available online.
At the same time as revising the Codes, we also changed our model of regulation from misconduct to fitness to practise. The new model allows us to focus our resources on high risk cases. Since its introduction we have seen a reduction in low risk cases and now have a more proportionate, risk-based approach.
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of the SSSC said:
‘I’m delighted that we made two major changes last year by publishing the revised Codes of Practice and moving to a fitness to practise model of regulation. Both were major projects which involved extensive consultation with social service workers, employers and other key stakeholders and I’d like to thank them for their vital contribution.
‘Social services are hugely important as every one of us will use, or know someone who uses, social services every day. The sector employs around one in 13 of people employed in Scotland so it’s a big economic contributor too.
‘Our annual report shows the work we’ve done over the last year is focused on making sure social service workers have the right skills, values and confidence to work with people to a very high standard of competence and safety.
‘We are working in partnership with an ever-widening range of stakeholders and with public protection at the core of everything we do.’
Here are some other highlights from the 2016-17 annual report.
- In March 2017 we had 97,353 people on the Register compared to 93,129 in March 2016. That will increase each year until 2020 as the Register opens to new groups of social service workers. The social service workforce as a whole is now over 200,000 people.
- We started a major stream of work to support people attending our hearings with a video made by our own staff to demystify the process. Next year we will be working to increase attendance and representation at hearings.
- We have a range of Ambassador programmes, including careers and dementia. Our Career Ambassadors promoted careers in social services to over 1,000 people. We recruited a further 245 Dementia Ambassadors bringing the total to 1,265.
- Our Open Badges are proving popular with the sector with over 12,000 visits to the website. They play an important part in valuing all learning, for example we have worked closely with the Scottish Childminders Association on recognising the unique skills of childminders.
- We published phase two of our Review of Social Work Education and we are now moving into the implementation phase with Scottish Government, universities and employers.