Social care workforce to be registered

Care workers will be registered for a six-year initial period, according to Lynne Berry, general secretary of the General Social Care Council.

Berry told delegates at the National Children and Adult’s services conference last month that domiciliary workers and staff in residential homes for children and adults will be the first tranche to be registered, subject to government approval. The fee for registration is likely to be £15.

In the first six years staff will have to carry out 30 days or 180 hours of post-registration training and learning at a level of qualification such as NVQ level two or similar award, or meet the induction standards. After the first six years, workers will have to re-register every three years.

Berry said that the GSCC aims to register 750,000 workers care workers in addition to the 74,000 workers and 10,000 students already registered.

She added that in the long-term the system needed to be simplified.

This was echoed by Sheila Scott, chief of the National Care Homes Association, who said that the system needed to be streamlined as currently care home managers are registered under the Commission of Social Care Inspection. She also said that social care workers needed to own the process if they are to be motivated to register.

Scott also said that in the long-term employers should no longer pay for registration. She added that if the workforce is to be given higher status with registration then government and employers would have to consider raising pay rates.

Other issues raised during the conference included:

• Richard Banks of Skills for Care said that the work it had been doing with Skills for Health showed that career pathways needed to be diverse and so enable people to shift social care careers or specialisms. He also said that foundation degrees and better access to higher education needed to be improved for social care staff.

• Delegates said that there were still inconsistencies in the Criminal Records Bureau checking procedures.

• Some Welsh councils fear they may struggle to attract new staff and retain existing ones if they move to a more collaborative approach to pay and conditions. Councillor Paul Cockeram from Newport said his council was struggling to attract new recruits as it couldn’t compete with incentives offered by neighbouring authorities. But Tony Garthwaite, workforce lead for ADSS Wales, said initial signs suggest greater collaboration between councils on the issue is beginning to reduce the range of pay grades.


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