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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Social care directorate

the new NES social care directorate image

The NES Board, supported by the Scottish Government, has established a Social Care Directorate to extend to the social care workforce the range of education, training, workforce development resources and digital solutions that have traditionally been provided to employees of the NHS and independent healthcare providers in Scotland.   

This recognises the value and contribution of the social care workforce in Scotland, and the opportunities to improve quality, professional standards and sustainability of services, while anticipating the proposed National Care Service for Scotland. 

What is Social Care? 

Social care means all forms of personal and practical support for children, young people and adults who need extra support. It describes services and other types of help, including care homes and supporting unpaid carers to help them continue in their caring role.  

Social care is an investment in Scotland’s people, society and economy. Many of us, or many of our family members or friends, will already use social care. Most of us will need to use social care at some point in our lives.  

Social care support is about supporting people to: 

  • live independently 
  • be active citizens 
  • participate and contribute to our society 
  • maintain their dignity and their human rights 

Areas of work  

Areas of work the Social Care Directorate are currently involved in: 

  • Extensive engagement with social care representatives and other relevant stakeholders promoting NES existing resources 
  • Discharge without delay education 
  • Development of an Integrated Health and Social Care SVQ Qualification 
  • Leading to Change (L2Change)  
  • Social prescribing network 
  • SG workforce development for adult social care
  • Remote and rural health and social care 
  • Widening access 
  • Realistic medicine and value based health and care
  • TURAS Learn 
  • International recruitment in social care (in partnership with Centre for Workforce Supply)

Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) 

Social Services Knowledge Scotland(SSKS) is a digital library for anyone working within social care. The library offers a variety of books, journals and articles to support practice and learning. 

The SSKS Spotlight Newsletter is a monthly publication which highlights books, journals and events on a variety of topics relevant to anyone working within social care.  

The SSKS Spotlight Newsletter archive

More information

Further information on Social Care in Scotland can be found at the following websites

Scottish Social Services Council​​​​​​​ 

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) are the regulator for the social work, social care and early years workforce in Scotland. 

Their work means the people of Scotland can count on social work, social care and early years services being provided by a trusted, skilled and confident workforce. 

SSSC protect the public by registering social workers, social care and early years workers, setting standards for their practice, conduct, training and education and by supporting their professional development. Where people fall below the standards of practice and conduct, SSSC can investigate and take action. 

Scottish Care 

Scottish Care is a membership organisation representing the independent social care sector in Scotland. They work with members and stakeholders in social care to create conditions for sustainable human-rights-based care and support.  

​​​​​​​Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS) 

The mission of the Coalition of care and Support providers in Scotland (CCPS) is to identify, represent, promote and safeguard the interests of third sector and not-for-profit social care and support providers in Scotland, so that they can maximise the impact they have on meeting social need. 

Care Inspectorate 

The Care Inspectorate is a scrutiny body which supports improvement. That means they look at the quality of care in Scotland to ensure it meets high standards. Where they find that improvement is needed, they support services to make positive changes. 

The Care Inspectorates vision is that everyone experiences safe, high-quality care that meets their needs, rights and choices. 

Approximately 600 staff work across Scotland, specialising in health and social care, early learning and childcare, social work, children’s services, and community justice. 

Contact the NES Social Care Directorate

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Last updated: 04/08/2023

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