UNISON Scotland welcomes this opportunity to comment on the
proposed revision to the PRTL requirements for registered social
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
This paper constitutes the UNISON Scotland response to the
SSSC consultation document ‘Proposed Revision to the Post
Registration Training and Learning Requirements for Registered
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
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