Having well-qualified and better trained regulatory staff will help drive up the quality of care across Scotland, according to Public Health Minister Shona Robison.
The minister’s comments came as she presented 40 Care Commission staff with specialist qualifications designed to improve the delivery of care throughout Scotland.
Addressing the graduation ceremony for the Regulation of Care Award (RoCA) certificates at Dundee’s Apex Hotel, Ms Robison said: “I want to offer my congratulations to all the students who are receiving this award, which is testament to their commitment and hard work.
“It is vital that we have well-qualified staff in place to help us drive up the quality of care services through effective and professional regulation.
“These awards give confidence to service providers and the public that those who regulate care services have the skills and qualifications to carry out their roles to the highest standard.”
The RoCA award is the first professional qualification in regulation available to Care Commission staff, augmenting and enhancing their existing skills and experience and for their registration with the Scottish Social Services Council. As well as theory, it is also closely-linked to their practical, frontline duties – increasing staff credibility and their expertise in how to judge the quality of care services across the country.
The announcement of the latest RoCA graduates follows the publication of the Care Commission’s Making the Grade report – a detailed overview of how the care sector had performed during the first year of grading, which showed that 97% of services were offering acceptable standards of care to the people who use them.
Under the grading system, services are awarded grades over a range of key areas – a move that is designed to make it easier for members of the public to check the quality and performance of a care service and make a better informed choice about whether to use it or not.
Care Commission Chief Executive Jacquie Roberts said that the achievement of the new graduates was a shining example of how the watchdog is contributing to driving up standards of care in Scotland.
She said: “For the first time, through our Making the Grade report, we have a benchmark for the quality of care provided in Scotland and this will be a measure that all services will be graded against in the future.
“The report showed that the vast majority of care services provide good care for people who use them and their families, while only a small minority are failing. Our work is about raising the standard of care and keeping people safe and well cared for – so by having well-qualified staff we are able to work closely with failing services to ensure that care standards are improved across the country.
“It is so important that people who use services and families understand that they can play a major role in insisting on and driving forward improvements in care standards. “All of the graduates have great proficiency and experience in the care sector, but this RoCA award gives them even greater credibility and enhances their practice.”
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of social service workforce regulator the SSSC, said after the ceremony: “The SSSC and the Care Commission are committed to working together to help employers and workers improve quality and deliver the kinds of services people need and want.
“Our partnership is driving up quality through a qualified, confident workforce. Each of the Care Commission Officers here today have shown their strong commitment to developing their skills and enhancing their profession and this will make a real difference to services across Scotland.”
The RoCA award has been developed in partnership with Cambridge-based Anglia Ruskin University, the Care Commission and the Scottish Social Services Council. The latest graduates are the fifth cohort to complete the course.
Eventually, all permanent Care Commission Officers will have this qualification in regulation.
Notes to Editor:
The Care Commission’s role is to regulate the quality of Scotland’s 15,000 care services providing care to 320,000 people. The RoCA distance learning programme lasts for one year with candidates undertaking a range of modules and assessments alongside their work for the Care Commission.
The RoCA students learn through online discussions and group meetings. The programme leads to 60 credits at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 9.