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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07590: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 28 February 2017

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason the Scottish Social Services Council is increasing its yearly registration fee from £30 to £80.

Answered by: Mark McDonald 13 March 2017

The Scottish Social Services Council, as the Non Departmental Public Body responsible for regulation of the social services workforce, plays a key role in delivering long-standing policy to improve social services delivery and protect service users and the public. Registration and regulation of the social services workforce by the SSSC aims to upskill and professionalize the workforce by requiring workers to attain specific qualifications; by publishing and requiring compliance with Codes of Practice for workers and employers and by investigating fitness to practice concerns and taking action if required.

When the SSSC was first established the intention was that over time the costs of the registration function would be met through the fees charged to registrants. The SSSC’s registration fees have, however, not been increased since they were set in 2003. The fees are being increased now to reflect increases in costs and to deliver the original policy intention. The Scottish Government has kept fees at the same level since 2003 by helping fund the costs of registration and will continue to provide Grant in Aid to the SSSC to support its workforce regulatory, development and data functions.

The fee levels vary for different groups of workers and likewise the level of the increases vary. The changes being introduced seek to minimise the impact on the lowest paid parts of the workforce, with, for example, new fees for social work students set at £15 per annum while support workers will pay £25 per annum. The majority of the workforce will pay annual fees of £35 or less (see following table).

The new registration fees will also be similar to those of other professional regulators, for example a professional social worker in Scotland will pay £80 per year compared to £90 paid by social workers in England, and £120 per year paid by nurses and midwives to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

 

Current fee level: £pa

New fee after increase implemented: £ pa

Increase: £ pa

Social work student

10

15

5

Support worker

15

25

10

Supervisor/Practitioner

20

35

15

Residential child care workers

30

35

5

School care accommodation officer

30

35

5

Manager/Social worker

30

80

50