SSSC Registration fees
On Monday, February 13, the CEO of the SSSC wrote to all registrants to advise on the new Registration Rules agreed by Scottish Ministers which will come into effect in September 2017. The fees for qualified social workers increase from £30 to £80 per year, or £64 after 20% tax relief for basic tax rate payer if the person claims tax relief. The increase is the first since the Register opened in 2013.
The SSSC consulted with what, since the implementation of the Regulation of Care Act (Scotland)is referred to as the "social services workforce", of whom over 100.000 workers are registered; approximately 11.000 are social workers.
Further detail on this consultation is available on the SSSC website, which also hosts a "frequently asked questions" part:
SASW invited comment from members during the consultation period, and we submitted our response which reflected understanding of some of the suggested changes, but concern about the level of increase. While 50% of our respondents accepted an increase, members told us that the proportionality of the difference in registration fees for different categories of staff was inequitable. SASW proposed a logical argument for having fees charged in a sliding scale in direct proportion to earnings, rather than job titles.
The new Scottish fees for social workers are in line with what social workers in England pay since the inception of the HCPC. Northern Ireland colleagues are charged £65, Wales £30.
Of concern were the various submissions and comments from members which reflected dissatisfaction with the Regulator and how it carries out its duties.
They viewed this as a retributive legalistic judicial approach, rather than one based on ethical considerations and a consensus of professional judgement and opinion (the Social Work profession, rather than a legal one.)
SASW is in a regular constructive dialogue with the SSSC, we have been an active part within the "Fitness to Practise" work, which has continued after the publication of the revised Codes of Practice. Many members have commented on what is regarded as an improved version. We are also committed to continuing a positive working relationship with the Regulator, which includes a joint commitment to providing clarity and understanding of the role and remit of the SSSC as opposed to that of a professional association such as SASW. We hope to be facilitating a number of regional seminars in partnership with the SSSC on these matters