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Registration requirements for out of school care in Scotland

In Scotland the out of school care sector is regulated according to legislation. The legislation is in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and young people using the services through high quality services and staff with appropriate qualifications and training to meet the needs of children and young people.

Out of school care services are regulated and inspected by the Care Inspectorate www.careinspectorate.com against the National Care Standards for the day care of children.

The workforce is regulated by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) www.sssc.uk.com who ensures that workers meet certain qualification requirements according to their job status, as well as adhering to the SSSC's Code of Practice.

For further detailed information on the regulation of services and the workforce please see the links to the right.

Regulation of the out of school care workforce

Out of school care services are registered with and regulated by the Care Inspectorate; all employees within out of school care services are recognised as social care workers and as such they must register with the Scottish Social Services Council.

Workers are required to have a designated qualification appropriate to the job level, if they do not have this, then registration will be granted on the condition that the qualification is achieved within 5 years.

New workers have 6 months from their start date to register with the SSSC.

Once registered workers are expected to undertake annual Post Registration Training and Learning (PRTL).

SSSC Codes of Practice

The SSSC has codes of practice which should be adhered to by employers and employees- for information on these codes, please follow the link below:

SSSC Codes of Practice

Lead Practitioner Registration/Qualification Requirements

The Lead Practitioner is the manager of the service, and probably also the named contact registered with the Care Inspectorate. The SSSC define managers/lead practitioners in the following way:

"Managers/lead practitioners in day care of children services are defined as workers who hold responsibilities for the overall development, management and quality assurance of service provision including supervision of staff and the management of resources; this is usually the person who is the named manager with the Care Inspectorate." (http://www.sssc.uk.com/All-about-Registration/qualifications-for-managerlead-practitioner-in-day-care-of-children-services.html)

Since 1 December 2011, when registering or re-registering with the SSSC, Lead Practitioners should be qualified to, or working towards qualification at, a Level 9 qualification in Childhood Practice: this could be a BA in Childhood Practice, Post Graduate Diploma in Childhood Practice or the SQA Professional Development Award (Level 9) in Childhood Practice. This is a degree level qualification.

Further information on Lead Practitioner qualification requirements:
information for managers

Further information on the Childhood Practice Award:

Practitioner Registration/Qualification Requirements

Practitioner must be registered with the SSSC and are defined as:

"workers who identify and meet the care, support and learning needs of children and contribute to the development and quality assurance of informal learning activities and/or curriculum.

They may also be responsible for the supervision of other workers."
information for practitioners

Although most workers in out of school care services will have an SVQ 3 in Playwork there are a number of other acceptable qualifications-for further information on these:
practitioner acceptable qualifications

Support Worker Registration/Qualification Requirements

Support workers in out of school care will mostly be qualified to SVQ2 Playwork, although Children's Care Learning and Development (CCLD) is also acceptable.

Further information on qualification requirements for support workers:
information for support workers

Regulation and inspection of out of school care services

Out of school care services are registered, inspected and graded by the Care Inspectorate. The Care Inspectorate also deal with complaints and take action to improve quality of services; in exceptional circumstances, they can also close services which are of consistent poor quality or expose services users to risks.

Services are inspected against the National Care Standards, in terms of out of school care the appropriate standards are "Early Education and Childcare up to age 16" www.nationalcarestandards.org/213.html. The main principles behind the standards are dignity, privacy, choice, safety, realising potential, equality and diversity.

The standards cover such things as minimum space requirements for children, and staff to child ratios.

Registration with the Care Inspectorate

When an out of school care service is starting up, their identified premises must be registered and inspected by the Care Inspectorate. The Care Inspectorate will indicate what adaptations, if any, must be made before opening and also the maximum number of children that will be allowed to attend the service at any one time.

If, at any time, a service wishes to increase the registered number of children, the service will need to apply for a variation to their original terms (again they will need to be inspected).

The Care Inspectorate should be informed when the named person registered with the Care Inspectorate, usually the manager, leaves, and another takes their place.

Grading of services

The Care Inspectorate grade services on a scale of 1 - 6 (unsatisfactory to excellent). Those services which are deemed to be "low-risk" overall: level 4 or above will not have annual inspections, whereas those that are high-risk: 3 or below will have annual inspections. Low-risk services will have at least one inspection within a 36 month period.

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