Centres for Excellence - Training

The Scottish Government funds a number of Centres for Excellence which support the national workforce development strategy to create a competent, confident and skilled workforce. In addition, the centres aim to develop innovative and cutting-edge practice based on research and provide information and support to stakeholders in their specific area of expertise. In this section, links have been provided to training courses run by the Centres for Excellence in social services.*

Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS)

Established in 2011, CELCIS is committed to improving the outcomes and opportunities for looked after children through a collaborative and facilitative approach that is focused on having the maximum positive impact on their lives. It is based in the University of Strathclyde.

CELSIS offer a range of courses (ranging from one to three days) specific to looked after children and care leavers and also provide some with a focus on residential child care.

In addition to professional development courses for staff, two MSc courses which focus on the looked after children sector are also run by CELCIS.

CELCIS learning and development opportunities

Master courses for looked after children sector

Bespoke training


Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ)

The CYCJ is hosted by the University of Strathclyde and builds on the work of the Criminal Justice Social Work Development Centre, which was based at the University of Edinburgh.

CYCJ supports improvement in youth justice, by strengthening the creation, sharing and use of knowledge and expertise, working in collaboration with practitioners, managers, policy-makers, researchers and those whose lives have been affected by youth justice.

Its work centres on three key activities:

  • Practice development: Supporting youth justice practitioners and organisations to create, share and use knowledge
  • Research: Supporting the creation of new knowledge through doing, and supporting others to do, research
  • Knowledge Exchange: Supporting the dissemination of knowledge and facilitating dialogue between those with different perspectives or forms of knowledge

The CYCJ offers a number of training courses. These can be accessed here.


Dementia Services Development Centre

DSDC is an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia. It draws on research and practice, from across the world, to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date resource on all aspects of dementia. This includes working with individuals and organisations to improve the design of care environments; to make communities dementia-friendly; and to influence policy and to improve services for people with dementia. It is based in the Iris Murdoch Building at the University of Stirling.

Training provided by DSDC is designed to support dementia care in a range of settings which can be designed to meet organisational needs.

Upcoming courses - A full list of courses run can be found here, however, please note that not all courses run continuously throughout the year.


Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) 

SCLD is an independent charitable organisation, working as a strategic partner to the Scottish Government in the delivery of Scotland's learning disability strategy, The Keys to Life. SCLD aims to be a knowledge hub – offering support, information and new ideas about learning disability in Scotland. It aims to do this by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders including the people who commission and provide services for people with learning disabilities, those who act as advocates or are working in research, as well as people with learning disabilities and carers, sharing innovation and good practice – so that those providing services and interventions can learn from each other, and building an evidence base, sharing how policy is being implemented and  building an understanding of what really works.

The SCLD runs a number of courses for staff and also offer bespoke courses that can meet specific needs of an organisation.

Upcoming courses - A full list of courses run can be found here, however, please note that not all courses run continuously throughout the year.


*Please note that the Care Inspectorate does not endorse any specific training course.

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