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Workforce Development Network - helping to build workforce capacity and leadership in voluntary sector social services providers
CCPS Workforce Development Network

CCPS Workforce Development Network Bulletin - August 2013

Welcome to the news bulletin provided by the new Workforce Development Network, hosted by CCPS and funded by Scottish Government.
The Network aims to work in collaboration with SSSC and other key partners in order to build workforce capacity and leadership in voluntary sector social services providers. More information about the Network can be found online -
www.ccpscotland.org/policy/workforce-development-network

This e-bulletin will keep you informed of the work being done by the Network, and will share relevant policy and practice developments, details of future events and any other workforce-related news items. This issue specifically highlights the next Workforce Development Network event, which will take place on Monday 9 September from 1pm-4.30pm at Norton Park, Edinburgh. The event will provide a focus on various Practice Solutions across workforce-related themes, and will also provide an update on progress being made by the Workforce Development Network. For more details, as well as booking, follow this link to the Eventbrite website - http://wdn-practicesolutions.eventbrite.co.uk/

Pressure increasing on the workforce: ongoing erosion of terms and conditions

CCPS has recently carried out a business optimism survey and attracted response from 57 organisations providing care and/or support.The survey is carried out on a 6 monthly basis and has included some questions about numbers of staff employed and changes to staff terms and conditions.  For the first time the survey included questions about preparing staff for registration as well as staff recruitment and retention.The survey dealt with the six months between December 2012 and June 2013.

Key findings:
·         91% of respondents said their organisations were employing the same or more staff over the last 6 months.  A similar % expected this to continue over the next 6 months.
·         23% of respondents reported that staff terms and conditions had gone down in the last 6 months.
·         91% of respondents have been working hard to maintain or increase budgets on training and development.
·         82% of respondents reported that their confidence levels had remained the same over the last 6 months as regards meeting registration requirements.
·         18% of respondents felt less confident about planning staff recruitment and retention compared with the previous 6 months.

Nearly a quarter of respondents reported that staff terms and conditions had fallen in the last 6 months.This follows a similar proportion highlighted in the previous survey relating to November 2011 to June 2012 and suggests on-going erosion of staff terms and conditions due to the restricted financial context services operate in.Changes to pension contributions, revisions to sickness absence policies and reduced annual leave were highlighted as the consequences.
‘Much reduced pension contribution, reduced annual leave and sickness entitlement.  No consolidated pay increase.’

The numbers of staff employed appears relatively stable.  51% of respondents stated that there has been no change and they do not expect change in the numbers.  Of the 40% reporting an increase some indicated that the rise reflected more part time working.
‘ Fewer full-time more part-time posts.’

Whilst 70% of respondents reported no change in how confident they felt about planning of staff recruitment and retention compared to the previous 6 months, nearly a fifth of respondents reported that they felt less confident.  Comments suggested a number of significant factors influence confidence levels including terms and conditions and local employment levels.

Generally providers appear confident about meeting registration requirements and some noted that they go beyond what is actually required.The Workforce Development Network and others have maintained a focus on what is required and there has been a relatively long lead in period to the opening of the register to groups of workers such as housing support and care at home.  There is evidence that organisations have been protecting training and development budgets with 72% stating that budgets had remained the same and 19% that they had increased. These increases may reflect some recovery of budgets after previous cuts.  The focus does appear to be on fulfilling registration requirements. 
‘Our L&D budget was reinstated in the last year at 50% of (the) level of 3 years ago after being totally cut for two years’.

The survey will be repeated in December 2013.
A
summary of results is available and has attracted some press interest.

Government funding announced for voluntary sector

The priority groups of workers which are eligible for support through Voluntary Sector Development Funding (VSDF) this year, have been agreed by CCPS, Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and Scottish Government. The Scottish Government has confirmed that around £950k will be provided to support voluntary sector organisations, registered with the Care Inspectorate to provide social services.
The priority groups are as follows:

  •     Staff in Care Home Services for Adults - Practitioners
  •     Staff in Housing Support/Care at Home Services - Supervisors, Support Workers and Managers. This workforce group is seen as a priority. Priority will be given to funding to Supervisors and Support Workers. If the grant is oversubscribed Scottish Government cannot guarantee to meet the demand for Managers.
  •     Assessors - VSDF is available to support the costs of an assessor qualification for staff working within any of the eligible groups of workers described above.
VSDF is made available to contribute to the costs associated with meeting required registration qualification criteria set by the SSSC and to assist employers in achieving a qualified workforce.
The priority is to enable as many staff as possible to meet required registration within the funding available, to help meet registration priorities and to achieve value for money. Small and medium-sized organisations in particular are encouraged to apply.
VSDF continues to assist with the costs of Scottish Vocational Qualifications, Management Awards and Professional Development Awards. The level of contribution available for each qualification is set out in the guidance notes. In the event that the total funding applied for exceeds the available funding and the fund is oversubscribed, a priority rating will be applied in line with the priorities set out above.
This year there will also be an upper ceiling of £28,000 that any one organisation can receive. Funding not used in the current financial year can be carried forward to enable qualifications to be completed.
For more information, as well as the application forms and guidance, please follow this link to the
SSSC website. Completed applications must be sent to Scottish Government by 23 August 2013.
Standards for those commissioning, procuring and contracting social care services

You may have noted from our last June Bulletin that the National Occupational Standards for Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting in Care Services are being reviewed in order to ensure that they reflect current needs and remain fit for purpose.
These are national standards associated with the commissioning, procurement and contracting of social care services. Staff undertaking these roles in public bodies such as local authorities or health services are not subject to regulation as, for example, care and support workers are. The occupational standards are used to base qualifications on and assist organisations plan, recruit and manage that part of their workforce undertaking the commissioning, procurement and management of social care services.
The standards are UK wide and are being consulted on nationally. There are nearly 60 standards and each one entails a list of required competencies and areas of knowledge. If you are interested in commenting on the standards you can focus on a number of standards rather than attempting to comment on the entire set.

The standards set out in the survey include recent additions and changes to the existing standards and the aim is to better reflect the development of self-directed support and increased focus on outcomes.
The HSEU, on behalf of the Workforce Development Network, has submitted a response which has made the following points in relation to specific standards (indicated by a reference code in brackets):
  • greater engagement, rather than simply consultation, with those using services and with providers would help commissioning plans to be relevant and achievable (CPC 511B and CPC 414)
  • the development of and adherence to compacts with the third sector should be promoted in the interest  of pursuing wider social and economic benefits (CPC 417)
  • the roles of the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council should be highlighted in terms of monitoring services quality, dealing with complaints and being sources of information to assist with activities such as workforce planning – this is important to avoid duplication of effort (CPC 425 and CPC 426)
  • a focus on outcomes is welcome - measures and recording tools should be agreed with providers  (CPC 423)
  • reference in the standards to the need to understand the ‘operational realities of service providers’ is welcomed (CPC 307)
  • greater emphasis should be placed on assessing the costs associated with achieving specified outcomes (CPC 307)
  • contracts should avoid being prescriptive about issues which remain the responsibility of provider organisations such as level of pension contributions (CPC 307)
  • where tendering exercises are undertaken there should be a clear reason for doing so after other options, such as negotiated agreements and renewing existing contracts, have been considered (CPC 422)
  • the evaluation of submissions during a tendering process will need to balance quality and cost and quality should be given at least 60% weighting (CPC 422)
  • place greater emphasis on consideration of the impact of commissioning activity on the social care workforce (CPC 428)
The standards commented on so far by the HSEU includes the following:
CPC 309 Support co-productive commissioning
CPC  511 Support  innovation and new ways of working to achieve outcomes
CPC 307 Contribute to planning contract implementation
CPC 414 Initiate and implement change to improve commissioning activities
CPC 415 Specify sustainable services to achieve outcomes
CPC 417 Shape the market to deliver your organisation’s priorities and outcomes
CPC 420 De-commission services
CPC 420 Secure a supply of specified services
CPC 422 Secure a supply of specified services
CPC 423 Use new tools and techniques to deliver outcomes
CPC 511B Implement new and innovative ways to achieve outcomes
CPC 428 Assess the impact of commissioning activity on social, economic and environmental sustainability
CPC 425 Manage quality for your area of responsibility
CPC 426 Manage performance for your area of responsibility
CPC 505 Plan the workforce to achieve outcomes
The survey (which includes links to each occupational standard) can be accessed from the
SSSC website and the deadline is 21st August 2013.
 

Consolidation of the workforce register - not as simple as first thought

The SSSC held a consultation last year on its plans to simplify the workforce register.  It had planned to implement changes in the way it categorises social care workers from spring this year.
The SSSC has clarified that decisions have yet to be made about the future consolidation of the workforce register.  The recent consultation on a proposal to simplify the register was generally met with enthusiasm although the task is complicated by the fact that most staff move within job types rather than across roles and it is necessary to know what sort of role a person is performing so as to identify the range of qualifications required.   
The Workforce Development Network will be alerted when there is any further update.
Regulation of the workforce – have your say!
The SSSC is holding a consultation about the future focus of regulation particularly with regard to fitness to practise.  Currently regulation focuses on whether a social care worker has breached the SSSC’s Code of Practice.  The SSSC is planning to shift its focus onto judging a worker’s ability to carry out a registered role now and in the future.  The survey deadline is 21st October and can be accessed here.
Do you carry out staff surveys?
One of the outcomes that the government wants to measure as the Public Bodies (Joint Working) Bill is introduced is that there is 'an engaged workforce'.
What 'engaged' means and how it can be measured in terms of integrated working across sectors is yet to be determined.  However, the starting point may be shared approaches to staff surveys. The NHS carries out an annual staff survey, as do many local authorities. The Workforce Development Network is interested to find out how many voluntary sector providers do likewise and, in particular, the extent to which their statutory partners are interested in the results.  If you have any information that you are willing to share - sample surveys, the results and the level of collaboration with partners in these surveys, then please contact David Strathearn, Integration Associate at the Workforce Development Network -
david.strathearn@ccpscotland.org.

SSSC Leadership Events - creativity in supervision

The SSSC is planning several leadership events this year and the first three of these will focus on creativity in supervision.  This is in response to feedback from the events that the SSSC held in March when participants raised an interest in exploring the issue further. 
Although 2 of the events are now fully booked, there are still spaces available for the Inverness event on Tuesday 1 October, which you can book by following this link to the Eventbrite website -
http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/7622203215
The event is open to everyone and the only cost is the participant’s time. 
 
If you require any further information, please contact Jess Alexander, Adviser, Workforce Development and Planning at
jess.alexander@sssc.uk.com

Workforce Development Network - Practice Solutions event

The next Workforce Development Network event will take place on Monday 9 September from 1pm-4.30pm at Norton Park, Edinburgh.

The event will provide a focus on various Practice Solutions across workforce-related themes, and will also provide an update on progress being made by the Workforce Development Network.
To find out more details about the event, as well as booking your place, you can follow this link to the Eventbrite website -
http://wdn-practicesolutions.eventbrite.co.uk/

Workforce-related news items

There have been many reports in the media recently about the issue of 'zero hour contracts'. In case you have missed any of these, we have summarised the main stories below that are likely to be of interest.
Comments on Twitter have also included the following:
  • "Lots today about zero hours contracts. Much used in care sector & show little respect for workers - they have lives to manage." - Anna Fowlie, SSSC
  • "Sadly, zero hours are often unavoidable when commissioning practices only promote short term business planning." - Workforce Matters, Scottish Care
You can also view this video on The Guardian's website - http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2013/aug/12/zero-hours-contracts-five-minute-debate-video - where Zoe Williams takes on Alexander Ehmann of the Institute of Directors over employers' increasing use of zero-hours contracts.

We are now on Twitter

The Workforce Development Network is on Twitter @WorkforceCCPS. Please follow us and check out regular updates of workforce-related news




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