Scottish Social Services Council – proposed register changes

Closed 2 Jan 2024

Opened 4 Oct 2023

Feedback updated 20 Feb 2024

We asked

We asked your views on SSSC’s proposals to streamline and improve registration. In order to achieve this, we asked your views on reducing the number of Register parts from 23 to 4, requiring employees to apply for registration within three months of starting a new role and be registered within six months. We also asked about SSSC’s proposals to include more information on the public facing Register, such as specialist qualifications for social workers, and information relating to fitness to practise which is currently available on a different parts of the SSSC website. The consultation opened on 4 October 2023 and closed on 2 January 2024.

You said

A total of 69 responses were received; of these, 53 were from individuals and 16 were from organisations. 

The vast majority of respondents were supportive of the proposals, with many highlighting that reducing the number of register parts will help improve the process of registering with the SSSC. 87% of respondents agreed with this proposal, with 77% agreeing with the proposals to reduce the timescales for applying and 77% also agreeing with the proposals to include more information on the public facing Register.

There were also some respondents who had some concerns with certain aspects of the proposals. Several respondents highlighted that they believed 3 months was too short a timescale to expect a worker to apply for registration and others believing that sharing additional information on the public facing register could have a negative impact on individuals.

A full analysis of the consultation is available on the Scottish Government website.

We did

The Scottish Government intends to implement the proposals set out in the consultation by amending Regulation of Care (Social Service Workers) (Scotland) Order 2005, The Scottish Social Services Council (Appointments, Procedure and Access to the Register) Regulations 2001 and The Registration of Social Workers and Social Care Workers in Care Services (Scotland) Regulations 2013. More information is available on the Scottish Parliament Website.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is a Non-Departmental Public Body, set up under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001, with statutory public protection functions to regulate social service workers and to promote their education and training. They protect the public by registering over 160,000 social work, social care and early years workers (as of April 2023); setting standards for their practice, conduct, training and education and by supporting their professional development. Where people fall below these standards, the SSSC can investigate and implement sanctions (including removal) where necessary. The SSSC’s core functions include:

  • publishing the national codes of practice for people working in social work, social care and early years services and their employers
  • registering people working in social work, social care and early years and making sure they adhere to the codes of practice
  • promoting and regulating the workforce’s learning and development
  • being the national lead for workforce development and planning for the social work, social care and early years workforce in Scotland
  • producing workforce data and intelligence on the social service workforce in Scotland for employers and other stakeholders that support the development of the sector.

We would like to hear your views on our proposed changes to the SSSC Register. This includes reducing the number of parts, amending timescales for registering, and what information is included on the public register. We have asked 5 questions and your answers will aid in us to bringing SSSC in line with all other professional regulators, and making the Public Facing Register much clearer to the public.

Read the consultation paper. The consultation paper contains full background information for this consultation. You may find it useful to read or refer to while responding.

Useful information about responding to this consultation

As you complete your response, each page will provide the option to 'Save and come back later' at the bottom. This means you can save your progress and return to the consultation at any time before it closes. If you don't use this feature and leave the consultation midway through, your response will be lost.

Once you have submitted your response, you can enter your email address to get a pdf copy of your answers sent to you.

On the 'About You' page at the end of this consultation, organisations will have the opportunity to tell us more about their work and/or how their response was informed.

After the consultation has closed there will be a few months delay before any responses are published. This is because we must check any responses to be published abide by our Terms of Use.

A analysis report will usually be published some months after the consultation has closed. This report will summarise the findings based on all responses submitted. It will be published on the Scottish Government website and you may be notified about it if you choose to share your email address with us. You can also join our consulation mailing list where we regularly list newly published analysis reports (as well as new consultations).

Why your views matter

This consultation follows on from SSSC’s consultation on ‘A Register for the Future’ which was widely supported. Your views would allow us to make the changes that were highlighted from this.

You would be helping to make registration as straightforward and easy to understand as possible, streamlining the process to fewer parts and making it less laborious. A simplified Register would benefit the workforce and save on costs. Reducing timescales for applying to SSSC would improve public protection by assessing an applicant’s fitness to practice earlier, and following on from this, amending the Public Facing Register would allow the public easy access to see any issues with an individual’s fitness to practice.

What happens next

All responses are currently being analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. An analysis report will be made available shortly.

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public.


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