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Resource Type Care Inspectorate Programmes & Publications

Safe Staffing programme


The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2019, however work was paused to allow everyone to focus efforts on the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Act is applicable to all health and care staff in Scotland.

The Cabinet Secretary has published a timeline for the implementation of the Act which you can find here. 

Our vision  

Working in collaboration with people who experience care, relatives, representation groups and other key stakeholders, our vision of the programme is to:  

‘Ensure that in care services in Scotland there are the right people, in the right place, with the right skills at the right time working to ensure people experience the best health and care outcomes.’  

Contact if you would like to get involved with the programme or if you need any further information.  

National webinar

We recently held a webinar for care services to provide information about the Act and the upcoming implementation on 1 April 2024.  You can watch the webinar below. 

Programme objectives

Our programme objectives for this year are: 

Increase knowledge and capability around workload and workforce planning through provision of expertise and support to care services.  

Increase stakeholder engagement in preparation for enactment of the staffing legislation.  

Following consultation make recommendations on whether we need to develop a staffing method* (particularly but not exclusively for care homes for older people).

Work with SSSC (Scottish Social Services Council) to make recommendations about education of care staff and clear timescales to complete this.  

Work in partnership with scrutiny and assurance colleagues to create systems and processes to regulate safe and effective staffing in care services. services.  

Undertake a review of how workforce data in the care sector is collated and analysed and make recommendations for change. 



Current Staffing Legislation (May 2022) 

Public Services Reform Act 2010 

Currently, Regulation 15 of the Public Services Reform Act 2010 is the legislation that care service providers should be working within, in terms of staffing. The legislation states that: 

A provider must, having regard to the size and nature of the care service, the statement of aims and objectives and the number and needs of service users 

(a) ensure that at all times suitably qualified and competent persons are working in the care service in such numbers as are appropriate for the health, welfare and safety of service users; and 

(b) ensure that persons employed in the provision of the care service receive —  

(i) training appropriate to the work they are to perform; and  

(ii) suitable assistance, including time off work, for the purpose of obtaining further qualifications appropriate to such work.  


Health and care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 - Will be enacted on 01 April 2024

When enacted the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 will revoke Regulation 15 and bring into legislation requirements and guiding principles for those who commission and deliver health and social care. It states that staffing is to provide safe and high-quality services and to ensure the best health care or care outcomes for people experiencing care. While this is the main purpose, health and care services should promote an efficient, effective and multidisciplinary approach which is open with and supportive of staff.  

The Act also places a statutory duty on care service providers to ensure that, at all times, suitable qualified and competent individuals are working in such numbers as are appropriate for the health, wellbeing and safety of people using the service, and the provision of safe and high-quality care and in so far as it affects those matters the wellbeing of staff. Providers are also required to ensure staff are appropriately trained for the work they perform.   You can view a video on the act here.


Learning Resources

These resources and supporting documents are for care providers about the Health and Care (Staffing) Scotland Act 2019.

  • Knowledge and Skills Framework:  Working with key stakeholders, we contributed to the development of this knowledge and skills framework for staffing. 
  • Scottish Social Care Workforce Planning:  LinkedIn community group for workforce related developments and events within the sector

Further learning materials and supports will be added to this page to assist you and your service in getting prepared to meet the requirements of the new legislation when this is implemented.



Safe Staffing Programme Open Badge

We have introduced a new Open Badge award for safe and effective staffing.

An Open Badge is a digital certificate which recognises learning and achievement. This is awarded to people who read, understand and apply the learning from the materials and resources on The Hub’s Safe Staffing Programme area.

The badge was developed in direct response to social care sector interest and can be accessed on the SSSC Open Badge website.

There are four hours of learning with four different outcomes:

• knowledge of the Health and Care (Staffing)(Scotland) Act 2019 and the guiding principles and duties.
• knowledge and understanding of the Care Inspectorate’s Safe staffing programme.
• knowledge on how the legislation applies to your care setting.
• knowledge at an informed level of the fundamentals of health and care staffing, workload and workforce planning, managing and using workload and workforce data and quality assurance and governance.

Once complete, you can submit evidence of your learning and applications that have met the criteria will be awarded the badge.




Collaborative events 2021

The Safe Staffing Project introduced a number collaborative events in 2021, with local stakeholders in a specific health and social care partnerships.  This was a great success and was followed up with two national events in November 2021.

This workbook was generated at these sessions along and we have published a flash report identifying the outputs and evaluation of the sessions. 

We have also published the presentation that we gave during the sessions, which can be used by care services to embed safe staffing information and improvement approaches with staff teams.

We hope to deliver additional health and social care partnership area collaborative events in 2022.  If you would be interested in being involved in these, please get in touch on

Archive resources

Winter staff planning – bitesize videos (January 2022) 

Adult care services are continuing to work hard over the winter months to maintain safe and effective care despite the ongoing and significant challenges surrounding the recruitment and retention of staff. 

In December 2021 we published information in partnership with adult social care stakeholders to support staff to plan their staffing requirements over the winter period, to give advice and suggestions that you may have found helpful. 

We have now developed three bitesize videos, providing suggestions and useful information from the perspective of care service providers and the Care Inspectorate’s Chief Nurse. 

The videos relate to staffing in: 

  • Care Homes
  • Care at Home/ Housing Support and
  • Nursing
  • Partnership working