A group of care inspectors have been recognised by the Care Commission and Scottish Government for their efforts in improving care standards across the country.
Amongst those was Margaret Hughes, 43, from Tayport, Lorraine McDonald, 43, from Alford, Aberdeenshire, Officer Chris Barratt, 53, from Gatehouse of Fleet, Mandy Ross, 42, from Inchinnan and Mary Soutar from Polmont.
After the awards ceremony, Margaret, who works at the Care Commission office in Dundee, said: “This was a fascinating course to take part in. The course related to our day to day regulatory activity and added the theory to what we do. It gave us time to reflect on our practice and further develop skills and knowledge in regulation.
Lorraine said: “Longer term, having a qualified workforce gives the Care Commission even more credibility and will be of benefit in 2011 when the new care regulator comes into being. I would recommend all regulators from all professions undertake a qualification similar to RoCA as it is definitely the way forward.”
Chris said: “RoCA is the only recognised qualification for the regulation of care, so it’s rewarding to be given it.”
Care Commission Convenor Professor Frank Clark, CBE, said the personal accomplishments of the 40 graduates would yield important benefits for all connected with the care sector.
He said: “The Care Commission is at the forefront of developing a new and modern approach to the regulation of care. Our work is about raising the standard of care and keeping people safe and well cared for, whilst also making a strong contribution to the development of Scotland’s scrutiny landscape.
“We are currently working with the Scottish Government to help implement their vision of a new, streamlined network of scrutiny bodies across the country and, in the meantime, it is still ‘business as usual’ in terms of how we regulate care in Scotland.
“This qualification is helping us drive up the standards of care and it is very pleasing to see 40 new recipients of the RoCA award. All of these graduates are already hugely experienced and proficient in regulating care across Scotland, but this qualification has enhanced their practice and will give them even greater credibility.
“The people who will really gain are those who use care services, their families and friends and people who work in the care sector. By involving these groups, we will continue our drive to improve the standard and regulation of care across Scotland.”
Shona Robison said: “I am delighted to present these awards, which mark the end of a year of hard work and commitment by graduating students.
“Well qualified regulatory staff help drive up the quality of care services through effective and professional regulation. The award gives service providers confidence in the regulators who have the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience to do the job well. Members of the public are also reassured that the people who regulate care services on their behalf are well-trained and confident in their roles.”
The RoCA award is the first professional qualification in regulation available to Care Commission staff, augmenting and enhancing their existing skills and experience. As well as theory, it is also closely-linked to their practical, frontline duties.
The qualification 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 fourth wave to complete the course. Eventually, all permanent Care Commission Officers will have this qualification in regulation.
The need for skilled staff within the Care Commission has never been greater since the launch last year of the new grading system for Scotland’s care services.
Services are now awarded grades over a range of key areas – a move 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.