Defining the Post

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In this section:

Competencies Framework

Key Elements

The development of accurate job descriptions and person specifications is important to ensure that the right people with the right skills, knowledge and experience apply for the role. It allows you to clearly state what the role entails and allows candidates to assess their own suitability for the role prior to applying.

Specific competencies for the post should be identified through a process of job analysis.

The competencies will help provide an accurate job description and person specification. This allows employers to specify requirements and applicants to assess their own suitability for the post.

In developing competencies, employers may wish to take account of the National Occupational Standards which are specific to practice areas.


Links to further guidance and practice examples

A question of care

SSSC NOS navigator

SSSC qualification requirements

Principles of the National Care Standards

SSSC Codes of Practice


Further Considerations

In the social work, early years and social care sector, the National Occupational Standards have been developed by the SSSC and are available on their website.

The National Care Standards principles outline the underpinning values expected of those working in the care sector.

Consider any SSSC qualification requirements for the post, or requirements from any other regulators.


Case scenarios



Job Description

Key Elements

Job descriptions should clearly state the main duties and responsibilities of the post including the individual’s responsibility for promoting and safeguarding the welfare of people s/he will be  providing support or care for or comes into contact with.


Links to further guidance and practice examples

ACAS Job description template

Practice example 1 Job description – Care assistant

Practice example 2 Job description – Playworker

Practice example 3 Job description – Care home

Practice example 4 Job description – Learning disabilities social worker

Practice example 5 Job description – Community mental health team social worker

Practice example 6 Job description – Social care officer

Practice example 7 Job description – Support practitioner

Practice example 8 Job description – Support worker

Practice example 9 Job profile – Community care social worker

Practice example 10 Job profile – Care assistant

Practice example 11 Job profile – Social care worker

Practice example 12 Job profile – Trainee social care worker


Further Considerations


Case Scenarios


Person Specification

Key Elements

A person specification sets out a profile for the post and of the ideal person to fill it.

It should clearly state what are essential and what are desirable skills and qualifications.

It should:

  • include the qualifications, knowledge and experience, registration requirements and any other requirements needed to perform the role
  • include the competences and qualities that the successful applicant should be able to demonstrate or show the potential to develop.

It is good practice to explain how these requirements will be tested and assessed during the selection process.

Links to further guidance and practice examples

Skills for Care- Values based recruitment and retention guide- person specification document

ACAS Person Specification template

Principles of the National Care Standards

SSSC Codes of Practice

Practice example 1 Person specification – Social care worker

Practice example 2 Personal specification – Senior social care worker

Practice example 3 Personal specification – Social care officer

Practice example 4 Person specification – Social worker

Practice example 5 Person specification – Social worker 2

Practice example 6 Person specification – Support practitioner

Practice example 7 Person specification – Trainee social care worker

Practice example 8 SCW Social care grade



Further Considerations

Be clear what is essential and what is desirable. Think about development opportunities, registration and qualification requirements.

In addition to applicants' ability to perform the duties of the post, the interview may also explore issues relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of people including (see section on the 'personal interview'):

  • Motivation to work with vulnerable people
  • Ability to form and maintain appropriate relationships and personal boundaries with people you support
  • Emotional resilience in working with challenging behaviours
  • Attitudes to use of authority and maintaining discipline

Case Scenarios


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