Recommendations made on inspection and regulation in social care

The cover of a report titled "Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation of Social Care in Scotland"

An independent review looking at the inspection and regulation of social care in Scotland has published a report into its findings.

The Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation (IRISR) was led by Dame Sue Bruce and has been conducted over the past year. Its aim was to look at current systems of regulation and inspection across social care in Scotland, and how those systems can best support improved outcomes and experiences.

The review has now concluded and published its recommendations, including that there should be wider regulation of social care staff than exists at the moment.

The recommendations have now been presented to the Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport, Maree Todd, who will consider them before deciding next steps.


Recommendation around Personal Assistants

One of the review’s 38 recommendations focuses on the registration of Personal Assistants (PAs), who are employed directly by a person with a Self-Directed Support budget, or with funding from the Independent Living Fund.

At the moment, people working in other social care roles must register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), but Personal Assistants are not required to do so.

The Independent Review considered evidence around the registration of PAs, including the potential benefits and drawbacks of introducing registration.

The Review has recommended that:

…a co-produced and bespoke scheme of registration for Personal Assistants (PAs) which recognises their skills and role, and opens up access to training and development, should be developed. Such a scheme would expressly seek to not create barriers, and through co-production, would create positive opportunities for both the Personal Assistant and their employer.

Commenting on the recommendation around Personal Assistants, Chair of the PA Programme Board, Donald Macleod said:

“The PA Programme Board was set up to improve the recognition of Personal Assistants within the social care workforce, and to recognise the important relationship that exists between Employers and their PAs. We’ve continued to hear from Employers and PAs that we engage with, that registration of PAs is not needed – and will put up additional barriers to Employers seeking to recruit and retain PAs.

“We understand the current position of the Scottish Government is that that they will not pursue registration of PAs. We will continue to engage with Scottish Government around this issue, and to ensure the voices of Employers and Personal Assistants are heard as the Minister considers the recommendations of the Independent Review.”


The full report from the Independent Review of Inspection, Scrutiny and Regulation can be accessed on the Scottish Government website:

Self Directed Support Scotland

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