Registering social care workforce sparks debate

“The issue of qualifications has been so contentious to
registration that two delegates had to be pulled apart at a
workshop on residential child care because the debate became so
heated”, said Geraldine Doherty, registrar with the Scottish
Social Services Council.

Doherty was telling delegates at a session on registration that
conduct, good character and competence were accepted as key to
registering social services staff but what qualifications would be
acceptable and who pays for the fees had caused debate.

Employees have to pay for £13 police checks and the annual
registration fee of £30. Some councils had paid for the police
check but this was up to local discretion.

But she said that the process had been far more straightforward
than in England. Because of the small size of the workforce
face-to-face conduct had played a crucial role in winning support
and registration and the support of BASW, local government union
Unison and the Association of Directors of Social Work.

Doherty also stressed that employers’ responsibilities
under the code of practice were to all staff and not just
registered staff. She added that the Borders inquiry had shown that
the council had not carried out some of their responsibilities,
which the Scottish executive may make compulsory on councils.

Protection of Title will be introduced in September 2005.

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