Draft codes of conduct issued (full copy of codes displayed)

The UK’s four social care and services councils have
launched the first ever draft codes of conduct and practice for
social care professionals for consultation this week.

The draft code of conduct for social care workers and the draft
code of practice for employers set out nationally agreed standards
for the entire sectors. The code for workers contains six main
statements that they must adhere to and the code for employers has

Abiding to the code of conduct for social care workers will be a
mandatory requirement for any individual wanting to register with
the General Social Care Council in England, the Care Council for
Wales, the Scottish Social Services Council and the Northern
Ireland Social Care Council. The registers are to be launched in
2003 and will begin with qualified social workers, managers of care
homes and residential childcare workers.

Lynne Berry, GSCC chief executive, said: “It is very important
that the councils set the right standards of conduct and practice
for social care and services workers and employers. We’re
asking people to help us get them right by commenting on the draft
codes and pointing out now they could be improved.”

The consultation on the codes ends at the beginning of April,
with final versions published this summer.

See below for the draft codes in full:

Draft code of practice for social care


The purpose of this code is to set down the conduct expected of
social care workers and to inform service users and the public of
the standards of conduct they can expect from social care workers.
Social care workers are responsible for ensuring that their conduct
does not fall below the standards set out in this code and that
they safeguard the well being of service users.

Social care workers must to the best of their ability:

– Safeguard and promote the interests of service users and

– Strive to maintain the trust and confidence of service users
and carers

– Respect the independence of service users and protect them as
far as possible from danger or harm

– Balance the rights of service users and carers with the
interests of society

– Take responsibility for their practice and learning

– Justify public trust and confidence in social care

As a social care worker you must safeguard and promote the
interests of service users and carers. This includes:

– supporting people’s rights to control their lives and make
choices about the services they receive;

– listening to, respecting and, where appropriate, promoting the
views and wishes of service users and carers;

– valuing and treating each person as an individual; and,

– respecting and maintaining the dignity and privacy of service
users and carers.

– As a social care worker you must strive to maintain the trust
and confidence of service users and carers. This includes:

– being honest and trustworthy;

– communicating in an open, accurate and straightforward

– being reliable and dependable;

– honouring as far as possible work commitments, agreements and
arrangements; and,

– declaring conflicts of interest and striving to ensure that
they do not influence your judgement or practice.

As a social care worker you must respect the independence of
service users and protect them, as far as possible, from danger or
harm. This includes:

– challenging dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative
behaviour and using established processes and procedures to report

– taking complaints seriously and responding to them or passing
them to the appropriate person;

– respecting confidential information and gaining permission
from those it concerns to share it for specific reasons e.g.
consultation with managers or other members of the care team.
Disclosures of confidential information without consent should only
be made where they can be justified in the public interest (usually
where disclosure is essential to protect the service user or
someone else from risk of death or serious harm) or, where
disclosure is required by law or order of a court;

– recognising the potential for power imbalances in working
relationships with service users and carers and using authority in
a responsible manner; and,

– following practice and procedures designed to keep you and
other people safe from violent and abusive behaviour at work.

As a social care worker you must, to the best of your ability,
balance the rights of service users and carers with the interests
of society. This includes:

– taking necessary steps to avoid service users from doing
actual or potential harm to themselves or other people; and,

– balancing the rights of service users whose behaviour
represents a risk to themselves or other people with the paramount
interest of public safety.

As a social care worker you must take responsibility, wherever
possible, for your practice and learning. This includes:

– working openly and co-operatively with colleagues and other
professionals, recognising their role and expertise and treating
them with respect;

– adhering to legal requirements and relevant standards of
practice, and promoting and maintaining good practice;

– being free from the influence of alcohol and drugs (other than
proper use of proprietary or prescribed medicines) while at

– informing your employer or the appropriate authority about any
physical, mental, emotional or legal difficulties that might affect
your ability to do your job competently and safely;

– undertaking learning, training and development, wherever
possible, to continually improve your knowledge and skills and
ensure that you work, in a lawful, safe and effective manner;

– being responsible for the quality of your work and
contributing to the learning and development of others;

– informing your employer or the appropriate authority if you do
not feel competent to carry out any aspect of your work and seeking
necessary supervision and training; and,

– dealing, as far as is reasonable, with the concerns of
colleagues about their ability to carry out work you have delegated
to them.

As a social care worker you must justify public trust and
confidence in social care services. You must not:

– abuse, neglect or harm service users or carers;

– exploit service users, carers or colleagues sexually,
physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way;

– abuse the trust of service users and carers or the access you
have to their property, home or workplace;

– discriminate unlawfully against service users, carers or
colleagues for any reason or condone any such discrimination on
their part;

– put yourself or other people at unnecessary risk;

– accept personal gifts from service users or their carers, or
gifts or payments from any service providers that would, or might
appear to, place you under an obligation; or,

– behave in a manner that might damage the reputation of social
care or social work, or reduce the trust and confidence of the
public. Dishonest, indecent, violent or abusive behaviour even if
not directly connected to your work practice, may call into
question your suitability to work in social care services.

Draft code of practice for employers


This code sets down the responsibilities of employers in the
regulation of social care workers. The purpose of workforce
regulation is to safeguard and promote the interests of service
users and carers. The code is intended to complement rather than
replace or duplicate existing departmental or agency policies and
it forms part of the wider package of legislation, requirements and
guidance that relate to the employment of staff. The GSCC will
monitor the adherence of social care employers to this code.

To meet their responsibilities in relation to the regulation of
the social care workforce social care employers must:

– Use rigorous recruitment and selection processes focused on
making sure that only people who are suitable and competent to
provide social care are allowed to enter the workforce;

– Make required checks of police records, relevant registers and
indexes and check that people are physically capable of carrying
out the duties of the job they have been selected for, before
confirming their appointment;

– Inform social care staff about the council’s code of practice
for social care workers and their personal responsibility to adhere
to that code;

– Give staff clear information about their roles and
responsibilities, and the legislation and organisational policies
and procedures they must follow in their work;

– Regularly supervise and effectively manage staff to support
good practice and professional development and to address any
deficiencies in their performance;

– Provide training and development opportunities to help staff
to do their jobs and to strengthen and develop their skills and

– Contribute to the provision of social care and social work
education and training, and provide properly resourced and managed
workplace assessment and opportunities for practice learning;

– Assist staff in posts subject to registration to meet the
council’s eligibility criteria for registration and its
requirements for continuing professional development;

– Promote and implement practice policies and procedures for
staff welfare and equal opportunities, and make it clear to staff
that bullying and harassment is not acceptable in the

– Make it clear to service users and carers that violence,
threats or abuse to staff are not acceptable and have clear
policies and procedures for preventing violence and managing
violent incidents;

– Support and offer appropriate assistance to staff whose work
is affected by ill health or dependency on drugs or alcohol, and
give clear guidance about any limits on their work while they are
receiving treatment;

– Provide procedures which encourage and enable staff to report
unsafe, incompetent or abusive behaviour, and deal with such
reports promptly and openly;

– Check whether social care staff who are the subject of
disciplinary proceedings have followed the council’s code of
practice for workers;

– Inform the Council about any serious breaches of its code of
practice for workers by staff who are registrants and inform the
staff involved that a report has been made to the Council;

– Co-operate with Council investigations and hearings and
respond appropriately to the findings and decisions of the Council;

– Make services users and carers aware of this code and the code
of practice for social care workers and inform them about how to
contact the Council in relation to the Codes;











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