CARE inspectors need to be praised for the important role they play in ensuring that our most vulnerable citizens receive quality care and support, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy was speaking as she congratulated 40 Care Inspectorate staff who have completed an academic qualification which puts them at the forefront of modern regulation for all Adult, Children’s and Social Care services.
Presenting the awards at a ceremony for staff who achieved the Regulation of Care Award (RoCA) in Dundee’s Apex Hotel on Tuesday, April 24, the Minister said: “The real stars of the show are this year’s students for their hard work in undertaking the programme, and in achieving the Award.
“I want to take this opportunity to pay personal tribute to these professionals who are so directly involved in ensuring that our most vulnerable citizens receive quality care and support.
“The last 12 months has seen great changes for the Care Inspectorate after it was set up in April 2011 as the new single scrutiny and improvement regulator for care and children’s services in Scotland.
“Improving care for older people is a personal priority for me and, within their wider remit, the Care Inspectorate is continuing to play a key role in ensuring that we do well by every older person on every occasion in every setting.”
The ceremony marks the culmination of a highly effective initiative designed to deliver a universal qualification for all current care inspectors. The RoCA award is the first professional qualification in regulation available to staff, augmenting and enhancing their existing skills and experience. As well as theory, it is also closely linked to their practical front-line duties.
Since 2006, 300 inspectors have completed the Award. But with the development of a new award in progress, the students are the last cohort to achieve this particular award. However, the new award means that the next generation of care inspectors will still be able to develop their skills to ensure the people of Scotland continue to receive the highest possible quality of care.
Care Inspectorate Chair Professor Frank Clark CBE said: “The achievement of all the graduands is a shining example of how the Care Inspectorate, as Scotland’s national care regulator, is contributing to driving up standards of care in Scotland.
“Our job is to make sure people receive high quality care that reflects individuals’ needs.
“We are committed to driving up quality through a qualified, confident workforce. All staff undertaking this qualification have shown their strong commitment to developing their skills and enhancing their profession and this will make a real difference to services across Scotland.”
The RoCA award has been developed in partnership with Cambridge-based Anglia Ruskin University, the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Social Services Council and is delivered by distance learning.
Evaluation of the award has included the views of inspectors, their managers and people who use services. One key finding emerging from the evaluation was that the learning outcomes from the RoCA qualification are closely aligned with what people using services said was important to them; namely, that care inspectors were effective regulators.
Joe McGhee, RoCA Programme Co-ordinator, said: “The partnership with Anglia Ruskin University has been exemplary and has allowed us to ensure that the award is both valuable and relevant.
“Lifelong learning is a key priority for the staff of the Care Inspectorate and RoCA is committed to playing a significant part in that journey, to ensure staff are equipped with the ability to critically reflect and improve their future practice.”
Jim McNally, an inspector in the Care Inspectorate’s Hamilton office, said: “For the public and users of care services to have confidence in the Care Inspectorate they need to have credible skilled inspectors who are both appropriately qualified as well as skilled practitioners. RoCA does just that.
“I like to think that skilled inspectors can help make the Care Inspectorate more accessible to users and carers, however vulnerable they may be.”
Two members of the Care Inspectorate’s Involving People Group, Angela Whyte and Mary Black, were also presented with Certificates of Thanks in recognition of the personal contributions they had made to the students’ learning experience. Involving people in the work of the Care Inspectorate is an integral part of the organisation’s culture and practice.
The list of care inspectors who received the RoCA are: Marjorie Bain, Alison Ballantyne, Christine Bartlett, Lesley Baxter, Charles Buckle, Drew Conlon, Donna Conroy, Kellieanne Davidson, Audrey Donnan, Kara Doonan, Jacqueline Ferguson, Leigh Ferguson, Tracey Goddard, Lesley Greig, Sandra Hall, Sarah Hermiston, Michael Hilston, Lynn Kennedy, Seonaid Lowe, Ishbel MacDonald, Susan MacGillivray, Noemi McGonigal, Jim McNally, Moira McRae, Mary Moncur, Helen Pilkington, Claire Reilly, Isabella Semple-Lawson, Joanne Shaw, Jennifer Smith, Fiona Thompson, Mala Thomson, Carole Thomson, Lynne Thow, David Todd, Emma Tracey, Linda Weir, Joanna Westwater, Linda Wheatley and Nancy Wyse