Proposed qualifications requirements for the registration
of workers who form part of the second phase of registration
– Early Education and Child Care
The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) is a non-departmental
public body established by the Regulation of Care (Scotland)
The SSSC began its work on 1 October 2001. It has a remit covering
Scotland and also works closely with the General Social Care
Council, The Northern Ireland Social Care Council and the Care
Council for Wales.
Part 3 of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 established
the Scottish Social Services Council. The Act also requires
the SSSC to promote high standards of conduct and practice among
social service workers and high standards in their training.
This will be achieved through:
Proposed qualifications requirements
- Establishing registers of key groups of workers
- Publishing Codes of Practice for social service workers
and their employers
- Regulating the education and training of the workforce
- Undertaking the functions of the former National Training
Organisation. These include workforce planning, qualifications
and standards development.
The SSSC will set qualifications criteria as part of the eligibility
criteria for entry to the register. The proposed qualifications
criteria for social service workers in Phase One of registration
were developed following extensive work with the predecessor
body CCETSW/TOPSS in Scotland and consultation with colleagues
in other Councils in the UK.
A similar exercise is now being carried out for Phase Two.
The SSSC has taken note of the views of existing bodies with
interest in the sector and these will inform the final decisions
taken about qualifications required to register with the SSSC.
The SSSC and the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of
Care (Care Commission) work closely together to ensure employers
and workers understand their responsibilities in relation to
the Codes of Practice. These include responsibilities for providing
and using appropriate supervision, training and staff development
In Scotland the categories of workers that will be registered
in Phase Two of registration have been set by the Scottish Executive.
They are all workers in early education and childcare; all
workers with adults in residential care.
This paper concentrates on the qualifications for early education
and child care workers. A separate paper is available which
focuses on workers in adult residential care services.
Qualifications play an important role in ensuring the delivery
of quality services and outcomes for those who use early education
and childcare services.
In developing the proposed qualifications framework for early
education and child care workers, the Council will take account
of the diverse nature of work in this sector. It is evident
that a range of terminology is used to describe the same or
broadly similar jobs. We also have people with different job
titles doing the same job. Some of these have separate supervisory
or management responsibilities.
Qualifications and fitness to practice
The SSSC will take account in its consultation, of all the
functions that workers are required to carry out in early education
and child care, to ensure that children's and families' needs
are met effectively and consistently.
A range of qualifications are currently used in this sector.
More details of these can be obtained from us at www.sssc.uk.com
or by telephoning Lorraine Gray on 01382 207101.
At the time of consultation, a new Higher National Certificate
for Early Education and Childcare is being written. Early Years
Care and Education Occupational Standards are to be revised
in the near future.
Play work occupational standards have recently been revised
at level II and work is ongoing at level III.
The Council proposes to use the following principles to determine
the qualifications required by registrants to register with
- Integration of practice and learning
- Recognition within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications
- Importance of underpinning knowledge and a value base that
is consistent with the Code of Practice for Social Service
The scope of the early education and childcare workforce
People employed in early education and child care have a number
of different job titles.
Listed below are the most commonly used job titles.
The SSSC is aware there may be other titles in the sector which
are less commonly used.
Sure Start worker
Child Care and Education Worker
Play work assistant
(Nursery) Room Supervisor
Play work supervisor
Out of School Care worker
Support for Learning Assistant (nursery)
Assistant Project Manager
After school care assistant
Wraparound care assistant
Consultation questions on the qualifications criteria
Views are sought on the following:
1a. Are the principles set out on Page 4 appropriate
to the needs of the Early Education and Child Care workforce?
1b. Please comment on your answer.
UNISON accepts the principles to determine the qualifications
required by registrants to register with the SSSC.
It is essential that practical experience is linked
with learning and knowledge, and that where appropriate
management training is given.
2a. It is important that we define the scope of the
workforce by obtaining an accurate picture of the range
of job titles used within the sector.
Do the job titles on Page 4 fully describe the range
of job titles used within the sector? (please tick)
No X - there are additional jobs as detailed
2b. What other job titles should be included?
Additional job titles should be included of:
Pre Five Worker Head of Establishment
Nursery Officer Depute Head of Establishment
3. What qualifications do you think should be expected
for the following workers to be registered with the Scottish
Social Services Council?
- Frontline workers who have day to day contact
with children and parents, attend to the care needs
of the child and who may organise activities.
UNISON has real concerns about the simplistic division
of workers for registration into "front line workers",
"supervisors" "and managers". The
work carried out in early education and childcare is
complex, wide ranging and varies from the care and development
of young babies to after school care.
There is considerable overlap between the roles,
and different levels of "front line workers".
For example, nursery nurses plan, observe, assess and
monitor children's learning and development. They do
not "assist" in this process, but use their
professional judgement on progress made and intervention
needed. Frontline workers also have some of the responsibilities
outlined in the "supervisor" post, such as
the supervision of students and other workers, and carrying
Given the restrictions of the consultation document,
UNISON believes that "frontline workers" should
be expected to have achieved the following qualifications:
HNC plus the necessary units at NC level to meet
the National Occupational Standards
SVQ Level 3
NNEB or equivalent
UNISON recognises that there will be some frontline
workers, particularly in out of school care, who have
not yet gained these qualifications.
However, given the time scales for registration
workers have the opportunity to achieve the qualifications
in time for the registration period.
UNISON is clear that childcare and pre school education
staff should be supported by employers and the SSSC
to achieve the qualification standards established.
- Supervisors these workers may have additional
responsibility for the supervision of other workers
As noted above, UNISON is concerned at the simplistic
divisions between workers.
However, we believe that supervisors would normally
have the role of first line manager, requiring both
academic and management skills.
Tasks carried out currently by senior posts ("supervisors")involve:
- providing a role model for frontline workers
- managing staff
- formulating policy
- taking overall responsibility of the unit/centre
for a short period.
Supervisors should have achieved the qualifications
detailed above for "frontline workers" together
with some management experience and/or qualifications.
UNISON believes that supervisors should be working
towards the Professional Development Award (PDA), although
at this stage our position is that it would be too exclusive
to enforce this qualification for registration purposes.
- Managers who have an overall management responsibility
for other workers, and a responsibility which might
include such things as budgets, staff development and
Managers should have both academic and management
qualifications and experiences.
Managers should have achieved SVQ level 4 or equivalent,
and have participated in appropriate management training,
which covers staff development and training, managing
budgets and finances, and quality service provision.
Provision should also be made for depute managers,
who deputise for the manager providing cover and support
Depute managers should be expected to achieve the
same academic and management qualifications and training.
Please add any additional comments here.
As the trade union in Scotland representing the majority
of nursery nurses UNISON is currently campaigning to improve
the status, pay and career structure for these workers.
The pre school education and child care sector has changed
dramatically during the last few years, to cope with the
growth in demand, and new strategies, regulations and
UNISON welcomes greater regulation and improved structures
for the sector, as a way to improve the quality of care
and education, and to improve the status, professionalism
and career development of workers in the sector.
As we've noted in our responses, we are concerned
that the registration procedures do not reflect the varied
and complex roles within this sector. We would prefer
greater detail in the registration process, and the level
of depute manager added to the process.
We are clear that all child care and pre school education
workers should get the support and development they need
- from employers, the Executive and the SSSC - to achieve
registration, to develop their potential, and to deliver
the best quality care and education in Scotland.
Name _______ Joe Di Paola __________________
Organisation ________ UNISON Scotland ____________
Address _________UNISON House, 14 West Campbell Street,
Glasgow G2 6RX
Position held in organisation ___ Scottish Organiser
Contact telephone _____ 0845 355 0845___________________
Email ________________ firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you describe briefly the range of services your organisation
UNISON Scotland is the largest trade union in the
public sector in Scotland, representing 150,000 members.
We are the major trade union in the pre school education
and child care sector, representing workers carrying out
the ranges of roles identified in this consultation.
Questionnaires should be returned by 4 October 2003
Danielle Neeson, Scottish Social Services Council, Compass
11 Riverside Drive, DUNDEE, DD1 4NY
This version is also available and can be completed electronically
from our website: www.sssc.uk.com.