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Proposed Revision to the Post Registration Training and Learning Requirements for Registered Social Workers

The Scottish Social Services Council Consultation.

The UNISON Scotland Response. November 2004



UNISON Scotland welcomes this opportunity to comment on the proposed revision to the PRTL requirements for registered social workers.

UNISON is Scotland's largest trade union representing 150,000 members working at the front line delivering public services. Over 85,000 of these members work for local authorities in Scotland and 2,500 of our members are employed in the voluntary sector. We represent a wide range of local authority and voluntary sector social care staff who are involved in building communities, supporting families, protecting vulnerable people and caring for children.

This paper constitutes the UNISON Scotland response to the SSSC consultation document ‘Proposed Revision to the Post Registration Training and Learning Requirements for Registered Social Workers'.


UNISON Scotland is happy to support the proposed revision to the PRTL requirements for registered social workers. We agree with the principle that all registered social workers, not just those specifically involved in child protection work, receive appropriate training in child protection issues.

Whilst UNISON Scotland acknowledges the need to ring fence a proportion of the 15 days PRTL requirements for child protection training, we also believe that the bulk of PRTL training must be directly related to the specific area of social care in which a social worker is employed. For example, someone specialising in geriatric mental health should keep in touch with child protection but also must be afforded the opportunity to keep in touch with his or her own area of responsibility.

In addition, UNISON Scotland is disappointed that many Scottish local authorities have so far failed to provide any direct training to staff in relation to the SSSC Codes of Practice. This despite the fact that the Codes are in regular use for disciplinary purposes. As such, we believe that it should be incumbent on all employers of social care staff to provide one full days training on the SSSC Codes of Practice. This should be included as part of the 15 day PRTL requirements.

UNISON Scotland also welcomes the consultation document's reminder to employers of their responsibility to assist registered social workers to continue their professional development.

However, UNISON Scotland also believes that this responsibility should be strengthened by requiring employers to produce, in agreement with relevant unions, a plan for professional development that details opportunities for staff to engage in development opportunities that are tailored to their own personal development needs as well as the agreed focus on childcare and other organisational needs.

Whilst UNISON Scotland is supportive of the revision to PRTL requirements, we believe that it is important to recognise that this measure alone will not solve the acute problems facing social care and child protection services in Scotland.

UNISON Scotland remains convinced that without an Executive commitment to address the resource crisis in staffing, in fostering and residential places and in administrative and IT support, many children will continue to be denied the appropriate level of protection.


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For Further Information Please Contact:

Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary
14, West Campbell Street,
Glasgow G2 6RX

Tel 0141-332 0006 Fax 0141 342 2835

e-mail matt.smith@unison.co.uk

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