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CODES OF PRACTICE

FOR SOCIAL CARE WORKERS AND > EMPLOYERS

EMPLOYERS OF SOCIAL CARE WORKERS

Introduction

This document contains agreed codes of

practice for social care workers and

employers of social care workers describing

the standards of conduct and practice within

which they should work. This introduction,

which is also reproduced in the Code of

Practice for Social Care Workers, is intended

to help you understand what the codes are

for and what they will mean to you as a

social care worker, employer, service user or

member of the public.

The General Social Care Council began its

work on 1 October 2001, at the same time

as the Northern Ireland Social Care Council,

the Scottish Social Services Council, and the

Care Council for Wales. The Councils have a

duty to develop codes of practice and have

worked together in developing these codes

as part of their contribution to raising

standards in social care services.

The two codes for workers and employers

are presented together in this document

because they are complementary and mirror

the joint responsibilities of employers and

workers in ensuring high standards.

What are the codes?

The Code of Practice for Employers of Social

Care Workers sets down the responsibilities of

employers in the regulation of social care

workers. This is the first time that such

standards have been set out at national level.

The code requires that employers adhere to the

standards set out in their code, support social

care workers in meeting their code and take

appropriate action when workers do not meet

expected standards of conduct.

The Code of Practice for Social Care Workers is a

list of statements that describe the standards of

professional conduct and practice required of

social care workers as they go about their daily

work. Again, this is the first time that standards

have been set in this way at national level,

although many employers have similar standards

in place at local level. The intention is to

confirm the standards required in social care and

ensure that workers know what standards of

conduct employers, colleagues, service users,

carers and the public expect of them.

The codes are intended to reflect existing good

practice and it is anticipated that workers and

employers will recognise in the codes the shared

standards to which they already aspire. The

Councils will promote these standards through

making the codes widely available.

Code of Practice for Employers of Social Care Workers

The purpose of this code is to set down the

responsibilities of employers in regulating social care

workers. The purpose of workforce regulation is to

protect and promote the interests of service users and

carers. The code is intended to complement rather

than replace or duplicate existing employers’ policies

and it forms part of the wider package of legislation,

requirements and guidance that relate to the

employment of staff. Employers are responsible for

making sure that they meet the standards set out in

this code, provide high quality services and promote

public trust and confidence in social care services.

Status

The National Care Standards Commission and the

Social Services Inspectorate will take this code into

account in their enforcement of care standards.

To meet their responsibilities in relation to regulating

the social care workforce, social care employers must:

• Make sure people are suitable to enter the workforce

and understand their roles and responsibilities;

• Have written policies and procedures in place to

enable social care workers to meet the General Social

Care Council (GSCC) Code of Practice for Social Care

Workers;

• Provide training and development opportunities to

enable social care workers to strengthen and develop

their skills and knowledge;

• Put in place and implement written policies and

procedures to deal with dangerous, discriminatory or

exploitative behaviour and practice; and

• Promote the GSCC’s codes of practice to social care

workers, service users and carers and co-operate with

the GSCC’s proceedings. >How will the codes be used?

The codes are a key step in the

introduction of a system of regulation for

social care in the four countries of the UK.

The Councils are responsible for the

registration of those working in social

care. The register will be a public record

that those registered have met the

requirements for entry onto the register

and have agreed to abide by the

standards set out in the Code of Practice

for Social Care Workers.

The Councils will take account of the

standards set in the Code of Practice for

Social Care Workers in considering issues

of misconduct and decisions as to whether

a registered worker should remain on the

register.

What will the codes mean to you?

As a social care worker you will have

criteria to guide your practice and be clear

about what standards of conduct you are

expected to meet. You are encouraged to

use the codes to examine your own

practice and to look for areas in which

you can improve.

As a social care employer you will know

what part you are expected to play in the

regulation of the workforce and the

support of high quality social care. You are

encouraged to review your own standards

of practice and policies in the light of the

standards set in the code.

As a user of services or member of the

public the codes will help you understand

how a social care worker should behave

towards you and how employers should

support social care workers to do their

jobs well.

>

1 This includes:

1.1 Using rigorous and thorough recruitment and

selection processes focused on making sure that

only people who have the appropriate

knowledge and skills and who are suitable to

provide social care are allowed to enter your

workforce;

1.2 Checking criminal records, relevant registers and

indexes and assessing whether people are

capable of carrying out the duties of the job they

have been selected for before confirming

appointments;

1.3 Seeking and providing reliable references;

1.4 Giving staff clear information about their roles

and responsibilities, relevant legislation and the

organisational policies and procedures they must

follow in their work; and

1.5 Managing the performance of staff and the

organisation to ensure high quality services

and care.

As a social care employer, you

must make sure people are

suitable to enter the social

care workforce and understand

their roles and responsibilities.

1 >

22 As a social care employer, you

must have written policies and

procedures in place to enable

social care workers to meet the

GSCC’s Code of Practice for

Social Care Workers.

This includes:

2.1 Implementing and monitoring written policies on:

confidentiality; equal opportunities; risk

assessment; substance abuse; record keeping; and

the acceptance of money or personal gifts from

service users or carers;

2.2 Effectively managing and supervising staff to

support effective practice and good conduct and

supporting staff to address deficiencies in their

performance;

2.3 Having systems in place to enable social care

workers to report inadequate resources or

operational difficulties which might impede the

delivery of safe care and working with them and

relevant authorities to address those issues; and

2.4 Supporting social care workers to meet the GSCC’s

Code of Practice for Social Care Workers and not

requiring them to do anything that would put their

compliance with that code at risk.

>

33 This includes:

3.1 Providing induction, training and development

opportunities to help social care workers do

their jobs effectively and prepare for new and

changing roles and responsibilities;

3.2 Contributing to the provision of social care and

social work education and training, including

effective workplace assessment and practice

learning;

3.3 Supporting staff in posts subject to registration

to meet the GSCC’s eligibility criteria for

registration and its requirements for continuing

professional development; and

3.4 Responding appropriately to social care workers

who seek assistance because they do not feel

able or adequately prepared to carry out any

aspects of their work.

As a social care employer, you

must provide training and

development opportunities to

enable social care workers to

strengthen and develop their

skills and knowledge.

>

44 This includes:

4.1 Making it clear to social care workers that

bullying, harassment or any form of unjustifiable

discrimination is not acceptable and taking

action to deal with such behaviour;

4.2 Establishing and promoting procedures for social

care workers to report dangerous, discriminatory,

abusive or exploitative behaviour and practice

and dealing with these reports promptly,

effectively and openly;

4.3 Making it clear to social care workers, service

users and carers that violence, threats or abuse

to staff are not acceptable and having clear

policies and procedures for minimising the risk

of violence and managing violent incidents;

4.4 Supporting social care workers who experience

trauma or violence in their work;

4.5 Putting in place and implementing written

policies and procedures that promote staff

welfare and equal opportunities for workers; and

4.6 While ensuring that the care and safety of

service users is your priority, providing

appropriate assistance to social care workers

whose work is affected by ill health or

dependency on drugs and alcohol, and giving

clear guidance about any limits on their work

while they are receiving treatment.

As a social care employer, you

must put into place and

implement written policies and

procedures to deal with

dangerous, discriminatory or

exploitative behaviour and

practice.

>

55 As a social care employer, you

must promote the GSCC’s codes

of practice to social care

workers, service users and

carers and co-operate with the

GSCC’s proceedings.

>

This includes:

5.1 Informing social care workers about this code

and your responsibility to comply with it;

5.2 Informing social care workers about the GSCC’s

Code of Practice for Social Care Workers and

their personal responsibility to meet that code;

5.3 Making service users and carers aware of this

code and the Code of Practice for Social Care

Workers and informing them about how to raise

issues through your policies and, if necessary,

contact the GSCC in relation to the codes;

5.4 Taking account of the GSCC’s Code of Practice

for Social Care Workers in making any decision

that relates to the conduct of workers;

5.5 Informing the GSCC about any misconduct by

registered social care workers that might call

into question their registration and inform the

worker involved that a report has been made to

the GSCC; and

5.6 Co-operating with GSCC investigations and

hearings and responding appropriately to the

findings and decisions of the GSCC.

SOCIAL CARE WORKERS

Introduction

This document contains agreed codes of

practice for social care workers and

employers of social care workers describing

the standards of conduct and practice within

which they should work. This introduction,

which is also reproduced in the Code of

Practice for Employers of Social Care

Workers, is intended to help you understand

what the codes are for and what they will

mean to you as a social care worker,

employer, service user or member of the

public.

The General Social Care Council began its

work on 1 October 2001, at the same time

as the Northern Ireland Social Care Council,

the Scottish Social Services Council, and the

Care Council for Wales. The Councils have a

duty to develop codes of practice and have

worked together in developing these codes

as part of their contribution to raising

standards in social care services.

The two codes for workers and employers

are presented together in this document

because they are complementary and mirror

the joint responsibilities of employers and

workers in ensuring high standards.

What are the codes?

The Code of Practice for Social Care Workers is a

list of statements that describe the standards of

professional conduct and practice required of

social care workers as they go about their daily

work. This is the first time that standards have

been set in this way at national level, although

many employers have similar standards in place

at local level. The intention is to confirm the

standards required in social care and ensure that

workers know what standards of conduct

employers, colleagues, service users, carers and

the public expect of them.

The Code of Practice for Employers of Social

Care Workers sets down the responsibilities of

employers in the regulation of social care

workers. Again, this is the first time that such

standards have been set out at national level.

The code requires that employers adhere to the

standards set out in their code, support social

care workers in meeting their code and take

appropriate action when workers do not meet

expected standards of conduct.

The codes are intended to reflect existing good

practice and it is anticipated that workers and

employers will recognise in the codes the shared

standards to which they already aspire. The

Councils will promote these standards through

making the codes widely available.

> Code of Practice for Social Care Workers

The purpose of this code is to set out the conduct

that is expected of social care workers and to inform

service users and the public about the standards of

conduct they can expect from social care workers.

It forms part of the wider package of legislation,

practice standards and employers’ policies and

procedures that social care workers must meet.

Social care workers are responsible for making sure

that their conduct does not fall below the standards

set out in this code and that no action or omission

on their part harms the wellbeing of service users.

Status

The General Social Care Council expects social care

workers to meet this code and may take action if

registered workers fail to do so.

Employers of social care workers are required to

take account of this code in making any decisions

about the conduct of their staff.

Social care workers must:

• Protect the rights and promote the interests of

service users and carers;

• Strive to establish and maintain the trust and

confidence of service users and carers;

• Promote the independence of service users while

protecting them as far as possible from danger or

harm;

• Respect the rights of service users whilst seeking

to ensure that their behaviour does not harm

themselves or other people;

• Uphold public trust and confidence in social care

services; and

• Be accountable for the quality of their work and

take responsibility for maintaining and improving

their knowledge and skills.

> How will the codes be used?

The codes are a key step in the

introduction of a system of regulation for

social care in the four countries of the UK.

The Councils are responsible for the

registration of those working in social

care. The register will be a public record

that those registered have met the

requirements for entry onto the register

and have agreed to abide by the

standards set out in the Code of Practice

for Social Care Workers.

The Councils will take account of the

standards set in the Code of Practice for

Social Care Workers in considering issues

of misconduct and decisions as to whether

a registered worker should remain on the

register.

What will the codes mean to you?

As a social care worker you will have

criteria to guide your practice and be clear

about what standards of conduct you are

expected to meet. You are encouraged to

use the codes to examine your own

practice and to look for areas in which

you can improve.

As a social care employer you will know

what part you are expected to play in the

regulation of the workforce and the

support of high quality social care. You are

encouraged to review your own standards

of practice and policies in the light of the

standards set in the code.

As a user of services or member of the

public the codes will help you understand

how a social care worker should behave

towards you and how employers should

support social care workers to do their

jobs well.

1 This includes:

1.1 Treating each person as an individual;

1.2 Respecting and, where appropriate, promoting

the individual views and wishes of both service

users and carers;

1.3 Supporting service users’ rights to control their

lives and make informed choices about the

services they receive;

1.4 Respecting and maintaining the dignity and

privacy of service users;

1.5 Promoting equal opportunities for service users

and carers; and

1.6 Respecting diversity and different cultures and

values.

As a social care worker, you

must protect the rights and

promote the interests of

service users and carers.

1 >

22 As a social care worker, you

must strive to establish and

maintain the trust and

confidence of service users and

carers.

This includes:

2.1 Being honest and trustworthy;

2.2 Communicating in an appropriate, open, accurate

and straightforward way;

2.3 Respecting confidential information and clearly

explaining agency policies about confidentiality to

service users and carers;

2.4 Being reliable and dependable;

2.5 Honouring work commitments, agreements and

arrangements and, when it is not possible to do

so, explaining why to service users and carers;

2.6 Declaring issues that might create conflicts of

interest and making sure that they do not

influence your judgement or practice; and

2.7 Adhering to policies and procedures about

accepting gifts and money from service users and

carers.

>

33 This includes:

3.1 Promoting the independence of service users

and assisting them to understand and exercise

their rights;

3.2 Using established processes and procedures to

challenge and report dangerous, abusive,

discriminatory or exploitative behaviour and

practice;

3.3 Following practice and procedures designed to

keep you and other people safe from violent

and abusive behaviour at work;

3.4 Bringing to the attention of your employer or the

appropriate authority resource or operational

difficulties that might get in the way of the

delivery of safe care;

3.5 Informing your employer or an appropriate

authority where the practice of colleagues may

be unsafe or adversely affecting standards of

care;

3.6 Complying with employers’ health and safety

policies, including those relating to substance

abuse;

3.7 Helping service users and carers to make

complaints, taking complaints seriously and

responding to them or passing them to the

appropriate person; and

3.8 Recognising and using responsibly the power

that comes from your work with service users

and carers.

As a social care worker, you

must promote the

independence of service users

while protecting them as far as

possible from danger or harm.

>

44 This includes:

4.1 Recognising that service users have the right to

take risks and helping them to identify and

manage potential and actual risks to themselves

and others;

4.2 Following risk assessment policies and

procedures to assess whether the behaviour of

service users presents a risk of harm to

themselves or others;

4.3 Taking necessary steps to minimise the risks of

service users from doing actual or potential

harm to themselves or other people; and

4.4 Ensuring that relevant colleagues and agencies

are informed about the outcomes and

implications of risk assessments.

As a social care worker, you

must respect the rights of service

users while seeking to ensure

that their behaviour does not

harm themselves or other

people.

>

55 In particular you must not:

5.1 Abuse, neglect or harm service users, carers or

colleagues;

5.2 Exploit service users, carers or colleagues in any

way;

5.3 Abuse the trust of service users and carers or

the access you have to personal information

about them or to their property, home or

workplace;

5.4 Form inappropriate personal relationships with

service users;

5.5 Discriminate unlawfully or unjustifiably against

service users, carers or colleagues;

5.6 Condone any unlawful or unjustifiable

discrimination by service users, carers or

colleagues;

5.7 Put yourself or other people at unnecessary risk;

or

5.8 Behave in a way, in work or outside work, which

would call into question your suitability to work

in social care services.

As a social care worker, you

must uphold public trust and

confidence in social care

services.

>

66 This includes:

6.1 Meeting relevant standards of practice and

working in a lawful, safe and effective way;

6.2 Maintaining clear and accurate records as

required by procedures established for your

work;

6.3 Informing your employer or the appropriate

authority about any personal difficulties that

might affect your ability to do your job

competently and safely;

6.4 Seeking assistance from your employer or the

appropriate authority if you do not feel able or

adequately prepared to carry out any aspect of

your work, or you are not sure about how to

proceed in a work matter;

6.5 Working openly and co-operatively with

colleagues and treating them with respect;

6.6 Recognising that you remain responsible for the

work that you have delegated to other workers;

6.7 Recognising and respecting the roles and

expertise of workers from other agencies and

working in partnership with them; and

6.8 Undertaking relevant training to maintain and

improve your knowledge and skills and

contributing to the learning and development of

others.

As a social care worker, you

must be accountable for the

quality of your work and take

responsibility for maintaining

and improving your knowledge

and skills.

>

 

 

General Social Care Council

Goldings House

2 Hay’s Lane

London

SE1 2HB

020 7397 5100

www.gscc.org.uk

© Copyright General Social Care Council 2002