Vital Consultation for all “SSSC registered” members (Social Workers and managers, Social Care Staff, Early Years Practitioners etc.) - Hike in fees and proposals to change procedures etc.

The Scottish Social Services Council has begun a consultation on proposals to significantly increase their registration fees. This follows an earlier overhaul of their Registration and Fitness to Practise Rules.

This will affect thousands of workers across the public and voluntary sectors in Scotland – a significant portion of which are Unison members. The fees increases are (in our branch view) excessive and will potentially create a barrier to people maintaining their registration and, as a result, their employment in social services.

Their page gives the following summary of the changes:

  Current fee level   Fees in 2017/18   Increase - £   After tax relief*  
Social work student   £10   £15   £5   £12  
Support worker £15   £25   £10   £20  
Supervisor/practitioner   £20   £35   £15   £28  
Manager/social worker   £30   £80   £50   £64  

 

It seems a bit of a con to mention the Tax Relief on the new fees, as it can apparently be backdated for up to 6 years (so must have also applied to the current fees). Either way, many of our members will find it cumbersome to claim.

Click here to go to their consultation page on fees (look for the buttons at the bottom of that page) and their comparisons and breakdown of roles and fees is here.

SSSC also conducted a survey earlier this year on proposed changes to the Rules for Registration and Fitness to Practise. Both Unison Scotland and Thomsons Solicitors (who represent our members at SSSC and other professional registration bodies) submitted public responses to that consultation. The page for that consultation can be found here.

While Thomsons Solicitors' response has foccussed on the legal and technical aspects of the rules, procedures, arrangements etc. the Unison response is a little more general. Both have stressed the need for fairness and proportionality in both the processes and outcomes of SSSC proceedings. They have made reasonable and practical suggestions for improvement - while welcoming the genuine desire by SSSC to improve it's methods and provide a valuable support to social services and the professionals who work within them.