Staff at Scotland’s care watchdog have been praised for completing a specialist course aimed at improving care standards across the country.
A total of 40 Care Commission staff have gained an academic qualification which will help them raise the standard of care and improve the well-being of people throughout Scotland.
The bulk of the group were presented with their Regulation of Care Award (RoCA) (Scotland) certificates by Public Health Minister Shona Robison at a ceremony at the Apex Hotel in Dundee on Monday, May 11.
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.
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.