Skip to main content

Scottish regulator unmoved by abolition of GSCC

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) has said it will be business as usual for regulation in Scotland, despite the surprise announcement earlier this week that the General Social Care Council (GSCC) in England is to be abolished.

SSSC chief executive Anna Fowlie said she would continue to co-operate with the GSCC’s replacement body, as well as care councils in Wales and Northern Ireland.

“The SSSC is a separate organisation to the GSCC, is established under Scottish legislation and its regulatory functions not affected by this decision.
We do, of course, work in co-operation with the GSCC and the other UK care councils to help ensure that consistent standards for social workers are maintained and mobility of this workforce across the UK is facilitated safely.”

BASW responded to the Westminster government’s surprise decision to abolish the GSCC and fold its regulatory work into a wider healthcare body, by insisting that the new entity must strongly recognise social work in its title and its focus.

News of the planned demise of the GSCC in April 2012 emerged in the Westminster Department of Health’s ‘Review of arm’s length bodies (ALBs) to cut bureaucracy’, a move aimed at securing projected savings of over £180m by 2014/15.

The review outlines a plan to ‘transfer the regulation of social workers to the Health Professions Council, which will be renamed to reflect its new remit.’

BASW chief executive Hilton Dawson called for the new regulatory organisation to be known as ‘the Health Professions and Social Work Council”.

He added: “The further development of regulation must allow for a statutory role for the UK College of Social Work and we envisage that the enabling legislation which will be required to fulfill this announcement will provide the occasion for the Social Work Act of Parliament for which BASW has been lobbying.”

The proposed April 2012 closure of the GSCC coincides neatly with the planed formal launch of the College of Social Work in March 2012, although how the GSCC’s work – in regulating the social work profession and monitoring standards of higher education provision – will be divided up in the future remains uncertain.