Staffing method framework

Introduction and context

This staffing method framework will support providers and managers of care home services for adults and older people with the implementation of the of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019. To improve readability we may also refer to this legislation as the Act or HCSSA.

Taking account of the views of staff and people who use services, being open about decisions on staffing and promoting multi-disciplinary services are part of the guiding principles of the HCSSA. The Scottish Government has produced statutory guidance for the HCSSA.

This Framework will therefore also be of interest to people experiencing care, their families and carers, staff working in care homes, external professionals who support care homes and other stakeholders, such as commissioners.

Inspectors may also refer to this framework as part of the inspection process for adult care homes.

The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019

The aim of the Act is to provide a statutory basis for the provision of appropriate staffing in health and care services, enabling safe and high-quality care and improved outcomes for service users and people experiencing care. This requires the right people, in the right place, with the right skills, at the right time.

The guiding principles of the Act state the main purposes of staffing for care services are:

To provide safe and high-quality services to ensure the best care outcomes for service users   

“Staffing for care services is to be arranged while: 

  • improving standards and outcomes for service users
  • taking account of the needs, abilities, characteristics, and circumstances of different service users
  • respecting the dignity and rights of service users
  • taking account of the views of staff and service users
  • ensuring the wellbeing of staff
  • being open with staff and service users about decisions on staffing
  • allocating staff efficiently and effectively
  • promoting multi-disciplinary services as appropriate”

The Act makes it a duty for care service providers to ensure appropriate staffing. This means that a provider of a care service must ensure that at all times suitably qualified and competent staff are working in the care service and that the number of staff is appropriate to support “the health, wellbeing, and safety of service users, the provision of safe and high-quality care, in so far as it affects either of those matters, the wellbeing of staff.”

The Act will also promote open, transparent and participatory approaches to staffing. It aims to ensure that people experiencing care, their family and professional carers are informed and involved in the processes and decisions around staffing in a care service.

In doing so, this builds on existing standards and regulations for staffing in Scotland. When using this staffing method framework, providers should therefore also refer to other relevant guidance. Two essential pieces of guidance to take into consideration for the assessment and planning of staffing in relation to high quality care and good outcomes for people are the Health and Social Care Standards and our Quality Frameworks. Both documents also provide guidance relating to staff skills and training, involvement, participation and transparency.

The Health and Social Care Standards: My support, my life set out what we should expect when using health, social care, or social work services in Scotland.

In relation to staffing, they describe the importance of having confidence in the people who provide support and care. Examples include:

  • 2.9 I receive and understand information and advice in a format or language that is right for me. 
  • 2.11 My views will always be sought and my choices respected, including when I have reduced capacity to fully make my own decisions. 
  • 3.14 I have confidence in people because they are trained, competent and skilled, are able to reflect on their practice and follow their professional and organisational codes. 
  • 3.15 My needs are met by the right number of people. 
  • 3.16 People have time to support and care for me and to speak with me. 
  • 3.17 I am confident that people respond promptly, including when I ask for help. 
  • 3.18 I am supported and cared for sensitively by people who anticipate issues and are aware of and plan for any known vulnerability or frailty. 
  • 3.19 My care and support is consistent and stable because people work well together. 
  • 4.14 My care and support is provided in a planned and safe way, including if there is an emergency or unexpected event. 
  • 4.25 I am confident that people are encouraged to be innovative in the way they support and care for me. 
  • 4.27 I experience high quality care and support because people have the necessary information and resources.

Our Quality Frameworks have been created to support care services with examples of very good and weak practice and further information to support services to self-assess their performance. Inspectors use the quality frameworks to evaluate outcomes for people as part of the inspection process.

Another important piece of guidance, published by the Scottish Government in 2022 is My Health, My Care, My Home – healthcare framework for adults living in care homes. This document includes guidance and advice for maintaining a skilled and sustainable workforce.

The staffing method framework for adult care homes as part of The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019

The Act requires us to develop and recommend to the Scottish Ministers a staffing method to be used by people who provide a care home services for adults. It also allows Scottish Ministers to make regulations to allow us to develop, test and recommend staffing methods for other types of care services in the future.

A staffing method sets out a framework or process to be followed by a care service provider to determine what appropriate staffing is in any particular care service and setting. This includes the use of staffing level tools and a range of other considerations such as where and how the service is being provided.

This staffing method framework for adult care homes includes all elements of the staffing method outlined in the Act and supports providers to meet the legislation when assessing and making decisions about workload planning and workforce capacity.

The staffing method framework

The HCSSA states that the staffing method must include the use of a staffing level tool designed to provide quantitative information relating to workload, based on the needs of service users, and quantitative or qualitative information relating to professional judgement.

The HCSSA lists further parts of a staffing method that may be included. This staffing method framework for adult care homes includes all of the suggested parts. This is to ensure that the framework includes all aspects of workforce and workload planning that can result in positive outcomes for people and impact on the wellbeing of staff. 

What is the difference between a staffing tool and a staffing method? A staffing tool is one part of a staffing method that you could use to guide your staffing requirements. Other ‘tools’ might be safe recruitment practices or regular staff supervision. A staffing method describes what you do to ensure there are the right people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time. It also describes how you would use the various tools available to you. If you miss out one part, you may not produce the outcomes you were hoping for. However, if you see areas that can be improved the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 allows you to use your professional judgement to make it better (for instance, introducing volunteers to the care service in a companion role). A description of what professional judgement means can be found in the glossary.

Professional judgement will have to be applied to all parts of the staffing method. Professional judgement should ensure that all qualitative or quantitative information flowing into the assessment of staffing is interpreted on the basis of current standards, codes of conduct and good practice guidance.

The staffing method framework is not a tool but guidance to support a continuous and consistent approach to staffing.

Professional judgement 

As a manager or staff member you will use professional judgment. You make decisions about the care you are delivering every day. However difficult decisions, in unprecedented circumstances may challenge your professional judgement and even your ability to make a non-biased safe and good decision.   

Firstly, get the information you need to make the decision, secondly consider ‘what you don’t know’ and always ask if you have to make this decision alone. If you can, share the problem with a colleague or manager as they may have more experience and knowledge. Together you can review any risks and consider solutions. This will support your professional judgment and your decision.   

However, if you do have to make the decision alone remember your professional codes of practice, these principles are there to guide and help you. Put safety first for those you care for, colleagues and yourself. Make sure you base any decision on good practice and evidence and consider the needs, wishes and preferences of those affected by your decision. Record how you made the decision based on these factors.  

It’s a fact that at sometimes we may make a wrong decision particularly when it is complex with no simple right answer or when the outcomes were poor, despite your best efforts. What matters is that you considered everyone and all of the factors, asked for support if it was available, took the best decision and recorded it.   

Good practice examples may include: 

  • Staffing contingency plans to address short notice absences. For example, the qualified nurse for night shift has called in sick and no agency staff are available. 
  • Staffing escalation process, who can you call, what autonomy do you have to make decisions.
  • Undertaking self-evaluation. This can be useful if staff report increased levels of stress impacting on their physical, emotional, social wellbeing as well as their ability to deliver safe care.
  • Quality assurance audits where for example the analysis of an increase in the level of falls suggests more staff may be required in the evening to improve observation and early intervention.
  • A family member has advised the staff that they feel their relative has to wait too long for support.  Inclusive and regular reviews of care can create an open forum where people receiving care and family members can raise concerns and agree solutions. 
  • An individual has diabetes and uses a Freestyle Libre, staff are not familiar with this and require training. Creating links with allied health professionals can provide access to specialist training.
  • Having regard to local procedures for example local authorities and health and social care partnerships.
The parts of the staffing method framework

On the dropdown parts below, we provide further guidance, information, and examples for each of the parts of this staffing method framework. The individual parts should not be seen in a particular order or hierarchy. The staffing method requires the use of each of its part to enable an evidence-based assessment of staffing.

Staffing level tool

  • Staffing level tools are designed to provide numerical information based on people’s needs.
  • The tool must include information based on the professional judgement of staff. This information may be numerical or based on conversations and observations. The tool should be designed to include an assessment of people’s needs and wishes in order to accurately identify the level of staffing required at a particular time.
  • Quality assurance systems are used to monitor staffing, dependency assessments and outcomes for people who experience care.
  • Services are confident the staffing level tool demonstrates the right skill mix of staff to support and care for people in a person-centred way.
  • Staff schedules and rotas provide evidence that staff skills and experience ensure the choices and needs of people are met.

Most adult care homes use a staffing level or dependency tool to determine baseline staffing numbers. We collect information from care homes about the tools they use. However, we do not, currently, recommend any specific staffing level or dependency tool for use in the social care sector.  

We advise services to continue to use a tool of their own choice along with a record of their professional judgement and as part of the wider staffing method framework.

Staffing levels and vacancies

Services must have sufficient numbers and availability of staff, forward planned over a minimum of a four-week period. Providers should consider overall numbers of staff in addition to the knowledge, skills, values, and experiences of staff that enable them to deliver high quality care. Staffing levels should include a mix of staff roles, experience, mentors, and keyworkers to meet people’s needs and wishes.

This part of the staffing method will complement the data generated by the staffing tool.  Any current staffing tool is unlikely to reflect much of the ‘soft’ data described in the paragraph above.  The assessment of staffing therefore needs to include the professional judgement of managers or senior staff who know their staff team, the people experiencing care in the service and daily changing tasks or circumstances.

For example, managers may adapt the staffing assessment to reflect staff who may be undertaking restricted duties due to health or wellbeing factors, or those who should not lone work.

An important consideration in this part of the staffing method will also be the number of staff required to meet the needs and preferences of people using the service, which takes account of the importance of relationships. This would include planning for staff resources required to enable people to connect to their local community and to maintain interests and activities that are important to them.

This part of the staffing method will also assess the staff resources needed to carry out non-direct care tasks, administrative care tasks, meetings, training, and supervision. It will also consider staff availability due to vacancies/staff absence/annual leave or outbreaks of infectious disease and the impact of this on people and staffing for instance. Services should also consider how working with volunteers could enhance outcomes for people experiencing care.

This part of the staffing method may highlight challenges and actions required to achieve high quality care and outcomes for people. It may also highlight difficulties with maintaining staff wellbeing, work-life balance, or staff retention. The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 Act aims to promote transparency in staffing and support an open and honest culture throughout health and social care. The HCSSA also seeks to support local decision-making, flexibility, and the ability to redesign and innovate across multi-disciplinary and multi-agency settings. It will therefore be important that every service provider uses the local and national reporting and communication pathways to highlight acute or persisting difficulties.

Good practice examples may include:

  • Considering the diversity of the workforce and if it is balanced across the different protected characteristics, with the required number of staff could help to meet the wishes and preferences of people using the service. For example, requesting someone of the same sex to help with personal matters may support an individual in feeling that their privacy and dignity are respected.
  • Considering key times when staff are needed, for instance, to support people with their morning routines, social interests and to have enjoyable mealtimes.
  • Considering significant short-term impacts on staffing resources, such as end of life care, caring for people experiencing stress and distress or planned hospital appointments.
  • Ensuring staffing takes account of significant events for example end of life care or people starting to use or leave the service.
  • For key workers and senior staff, considering professional meetings, discussions, care plan reviews, report writing.
  • Considering time for shift changeovers while retaining appropriate staffing levels to support effective and safe care.
  • Considering staff team dynamics and impact of bringing in new, sessional or agency staff. This should also consider the initial time required to review personal plans before supporting people and time for experienced staff to carry out mentoring activities.
  • Staff wellbeing is vital to staff retention. Measures to support staff wellbeing include wellbeing champions, wellbeing resources, wellbeing assessments or external supports.
  • Flexible shift times which consider both the needs and wishes of people who use services, and the needs of staff may support recruitment and retention.
  • Following guidance for safe recruitment, including international recruitment.
  • Following good practice advice for the induction, integration and wellbeing of workers recruited from overseas.
  • Consider outcome focussed workforce planning as part of the service aims and objectives. Could this include volunteers, apprenticeship schemes or students?
  • Following guidance from the appropriate organisation for supporting volunteers, apprentices or students.

Environment and local context

This part of the staffing method considers the impact of the physical environment and of the local context on the assessment of staffing.

Examples of important factors to consider for the assessment of staffing include the size and layout of the building/s, range of private and communal spaces, accessibility of different areas of the service, access to a safe outdoor space. Other factors that impact on staffing will be the setting. Has the service designed or adapted for high quality care and support taking account of good practice guidance such as the King’s Fund tool for people with dementia, ‘Living in the community’ and ‘Building Better Care Homes’.

All of the examples listed above have an effect on staff’s ability to observe and spend time with people using different areas, communicate well with colleagues and support housekeeping and care of the environment. Many of these factors will also affect the ability of people experiencing care to do things independently.

Evacuation procedures in the event of fire or other emergency situations must be considered in the staffing assessment.

The local environment and impact of geographical location can be important factors in decisions about staffing. Examples include the local travel infrastructure, availability of bank or agency staff and access to community resources and connections.

Consideration of the local context also includes the availability of volunteering opportunities for those visiting the service and those in the local community.

Good practice examples may include:

  • Assessing the environment and its impact on staffing. Use available guidance like Care Homes for Adults – The Design Guide or The King’s Fund tool ‘Is your care home dementia friendly?’ to help with this.
  • Regularly observing practice to experience how the environment impacts on people’s wellbeing, independence, and outcomes and how this relates to staffing numbers, deployment, and skill mix. Involve people living in the care home, staff, and visitors.
  • Carrying out regular evacuation drills at different times and in different shift scenarios, such as weekends and nightshifts. Assess and evaluate if staff numbers, deployment and skills ensure everyone’s safety effectively.
  • Assessing the impact of your local community environment on staff numbers and skills mix. This will include many considerations, from the size of the local recruitment pool, the availability of volunteers, the number of regular visitors and community connections, to the availability of transport and potentially many more factors.

The needs and views of people experiencing care

The guiding principles of The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 are to provide safe and high-quality services, and to ensure the best care outcomes for service users. This part of the staffing method therefore requires services to regularly evaluate the quality of people’s outcomes and to link these evaluations to the assessment of staffing.

To achieve this, and to make it a meaningful process, it will be important to ensure that people’s personal plans are focussed on people’s personal outcomes and that the personal plans are regularly and meaningfully evaluated. People should be supported to fully to express their wishes and preferences with relevant individuals important to them involved in the care planning and review process. For further information please refer to the Guide for providers on personal planning (Adults) in the useful links section.

An important part of the regular evaluation of people’s care, and a valuable opportunity to gain information about the link between people’s outcomes and staffing, are well conducted care reviews. Regular care reviews should therefore include conversations about staffing with people experiencing care, families, representatives and, at times, external professionals.

The initial outcomes described in each person's personal plan should be consistent with any outcomes or goals that were specified when the service was assessed and agreed for them. Approaches to risk enablement should take into account any risks identified by the commissioner of the service/placing authority. Significant and substantial changes in support needs that may require adjustments should be communicated to the commissioner/placing authority to ensure that the service remains aligned with the person's needs. 

Providers may use quality assurance processes, regular clinical governance meetings or other, new, and innovative ways to regularly assess and evaluate people’s needs and outcomes.

Good practice examples may include:

  • Using quality assurance processes, regular clinical governance meetings or other, new, and innovative ways to regularly assess and evaluate the impact of staffing on people’s outcomes.
  • Reviewing the format and content of personal plans and care reviews. Ensure that care plans are focussed on personal outcomes and that the regular care plan evaluations are evaluative. This means that evaluations should clearly measure if care plan actions worked and if outcomes were achieved or not. The same evaluative approach should be taken for the regular care reviews. This should ensure transparency and meaningful involvement of people in shaping and adjusting the plans and outcomes and provide valuable information about staffing.
  • Considering how people’s views relating to staffing can be gathered as part of the recruitment process and ongoing reviews of staffing arrangements.

Assessment of quality and standards

Self-evaluation is a core part of assuring quality and supporting improvement. Self-evaluation and quality assurance processes will cover most areas of practice in one way or another. Providers should consider how others, (staff, people using the service and their families) are supported to be involved in how a service assures quality including through self-evaluation. A range of regular audits, observations of practice, checks and measurements will produce important information about staffing, either directly or indirectly.

An example of quality assurance showing a clear link to staffing could be a mealtime observation where the observer may see if the number, deployment, and skills of staff support good outcomes for people. Audits for medication, care plans or cleaning may be examples of indirect links to staffing.

Poor records and poor evaluations, with high levels of incident reporting can be symptomatic of problems related to staffing levels, deployment, and skills. The staffing method should therefore always ensure that these possible links are visible, assessed and acted on.

It is important that the staffing method also acknowledges the time required by managers and staff to carry out quality assurance tasks and to evaluate the findings. Sufficient time will also be required to share quality assurance outcomes and to develop, plan and manage necessary changes or improvement ideas.

Our quality frameworks ask three questions for the regular quality assurance and self-assessment cycle:

  • How are we doing? This is the key to knowing whether you are doing the right things and that, as result, people are experiencing high quality, safe and compassionate care and support that meets their needs, rights, and choices.
  • How do we know? Answering the question ‘how we are doing?’ must be done based on robust evidence. The quality indicators in this document, along with the views of people experiencing care and support, and their carers, can help you to evaluate how you are doing. You should also take into account performance data collected nationally or by your service.
  • What are we going to do now? Understanding how well your service is performing should help you see what is working well and what needs to be improved. From that, you should be able to develop plans for improvement based on effective practice, guidance, research, testing, and available improvement support.

 Good practice examples may include:

  • Reviewing the content of quality assurance tools and processes and identify existing links to staffing. Some tools or processes may benefit from additional or altered questions/tests to provide better information about staffing.
  • Observing practice can be one of the most effective quality assurance tools. Observations can support the meaningful evaluation of people’s outcomes and can provide a lot of information about the quality of staffing.
  • Ensuring that managers and senior staff have enough time to carry out regular quality assurance and to evaluate the findings. Managers should ensure that the evaluation of quality assurance information includes tracking of data over time. This will help with the identification of trends or inconsistent practice, and it will help to communicate findings to staff, families and people who experience care.
  • Managing improvement work and testing of change ideas in an evidence-based way, following the Plan, Do, Study, Ac (PDSA) cycle method. Links to resources can be found in the useful links section.
  • Considering staffing as a standing agenda item for relevant meetings, for example, clinical governance, quality assurance and health and safety meetings.

Relative and carer views

People’s views and preferences regarding staffing should be actively sought when planning and delivering care and support, to ensure that the needs and wishes of people experiencing care are understood and valued.

The views of relatives and family carers about staffing arrangements should be collected in a range of ways: surveys, meetings, focus groups, care reviews and conversations. It will be important that there is a meaningful, open, and transparent process of gathering and sharing views and information. The staffing method and the outcomes of staffing assessments should be shared with people in an accessible way and genuine involvement should be encouraged.

Good practice examples may include:

  • Implementing an effective and meaningful keyworker system that supports people and services to share information in a person-centred and informal manner. Importance should be placed on staff skills and experience to help build successful relationships with people experiencing care and their families, whilst respecting professional boundaries and confidentiality. This can help people to share their views on staffing and support their involvement.
  • Encouraging relatives and people experiencing care in the interview process for new staff should be part of good practice.
  • Having a robust, open and solution focussed procedure for concerns and complaints that is seen as an important part of feedback and organisational learning. Providers should actively work on avoiding a blame culture and on seeing negative feedback as chance to learn and improve.
  • Using social media or other technology to share ideas and connect with family carers. It is important to remember never to share confidential or personal information relating to people using services or their families. 
  • Including staffing as a standing item at care reviews and relative meetings.

Feedback from staff

Seeking the views of staff is a crucial part of the staffing method. Listening to staff views, concerns or ideas is important to ensure the dignity and rights of people experiencing care are respected and standards and outcomes are high.

Providers should have processes in place to ensure the views of staff have been gathered and how they have informed decision-making. Staff feedback can be collected formally or informally in a range of ways: suggestion boxes, individual and group meetings, focus and peer groups and supervision meetings.

Providers should be mindful of the link between the outcomes of people experiencing care and the wellbeing of staff. Increased staff wellbeing can reduce sickness absence, burnout, and work-related stress, meaning that staff are available to care for service users. Healthy, engaged staff are also better able to provide safe and high-quality services. In some situations, staff will be working in challenging environments which may increase risks to their wellbeing. The regular processes to exchange views mentioned above should also be used as opportunities to discuss and check on staff wellbeing.

Good practice examples may include:

  • Quantitative and qualitative information from staff feedback is gathered and shared to improve processes and outcomes.
  • Measures are in place to support staff wellbeing. This may include wellbeing champions, wellbeing resources, wellbeing assessments and access to external supports.
  • Focussing on an open and respectful culture of continuous improvement encourages staff, volunteers, apprentices and students to voice opinions and contribute ideas for improvement.
  • Using the supervision process as a safe space for individual discussions about staffing, including learning and development.

Feedback from professionals

The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019 promotes appropriate multidisciplinary working within the context of ensuring that people experience the highest quality of care.

The Scottish Government Healthcare Framework for adults living in care homes collaboration and partnership working with professionals from health and other disciplines as vital for the quality of people’s care. Multidisciplinary professional input supports positive outcomes for people. The observations of professionals visiting the home and their advice on the implementation of good practice interventions can offer valuable insight in staffing strengths or weaknesses.

This part of the staffing method asks providers to ensure that feedback from professionals is heard, captured, and used to inform the assessment of staffing. There should be proactive processes to seek feedback about staffing, which could be done in various formal and informal ways.

Good practice examples may include:

  • Arrange regular processes with local multidisciplinary professionals to exchange views about staffing.
  • Where regular arrangements are not possible, try to use regular surveys or feedback forms.
  • Developing supportive relationships enhances communications and outcomes for people.


Risk management

Positive risks, based on human-rights, enables person-centred support as outlined in the Health and Social Care Standards. An enablement approach should be used to ensure a level of risk is understood and managed by both people using the service and staff who support people to achieve their outcomes. It is about making it possible for people to make choices about risks that they choose to take and make sure that staffing levels and skill mix do not restrict people unnecessarily. For example, enabling people to make a cup of tea or spend time in the garden.

Providers should consider the ways in which people are supported with managing risks and the potential impact on staff numbers, deployment, and skill mix.

This will include risks to the health and wellbeing of staff, staff resources and deployment to support people and minimise the occurrence of adverse events. For example, the service should ensure they have sufficient staff to follow any arrangements, policies or procedures relating to health and safety.

Good practice examples may include:

  • People’s care plans and personal risk assessments should be implemented and managed using a collaborative approach. Collaborate with the person using the service, family, friends, and professionals to enable appropriate risk taking.
  • Risk assessments should be guided by an enabling approach to care, which promotes abilities and choices.
  • Regular analysis of risk assessments, falls and incidents, should include the possible impact of staffing.

Guidance and standards

It is important that providers are aware of current guidance and standards relevant to providing safe and high-quality services, and to ensuring the best health care or care outcomes for service users. Following evidence-based good practice guidance may have an impact on the assessment of staffing.

A current example of this would be the approach to stress and distress experienced by people living with dementia. A person-centred approach may be more time and staff intensive than outdated, reductionist and medication reliant approaches. This is because staff time will be required to carry out meaningful assessments, work with relatives and professionals on implementing and frequently revaluating person-centred plans and on implementing them consistently.

Good practice examples may include:

  • Regularly reviewing if practice in the care home is in line with current standards and guidance. Being part of national networks and local provider forums will support this. The service’s own guidance must be regularly reviewed to ensure it is up to date.
  • Staff training should follow existing national knowledge and skills frameworks to ensure staff at each level of the organisation are up to date with current good practice.

Useful links

Care Inspectorate:  Safe Staffing Programme

The Hub

Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)

Nursing and Midwifery Council

Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC)

Scottish Care

Royal College of Nursing

Coalition of Care Providers Scotland (CCPS)

Mental Welfare Commission Scotland

Health and Social Care Standards: My support, my life

Scottish Government - Healthcare framework for adults living in care homes. My health, My care, My home.

Quality frameworks

My homelife

Scottish Human Rights Commission

Volunteer Scotland: Tips and Templates

Welcome to Care about Rights - SHRC - Care about Rights (scottishhumanrights.com)



Guidance for providers on the assessment of staffing levels in premises based services

Personal plans guide: adults

Raising concerns in the workplace

Safer recruitment through better recruitment

NMC: safe staffing guidelines

Visiting, meaningful connections, Anne's law

Dementia: psychoactive medication summary


Learning resources

NHS Education Scotland (NES)

NES: quality improvement zone

Health and Care Staffing Scotland (Turas)

Personal outcomes network recording-and-measuring

Promoting excellence 2021:  framework for all health and social services staff working with people with dementia, their families and carers

Self-evaluation for improvement: your guide


SSSC: workforce planning and development


Staff wellbeing

Practitioner health: Accessing the service in Scotland

Psychosocial mental health and wellbeing support: taking care of your staff

Scottish Government: Wellbeing Hub

SSSC: Pre-employment and induction guide for employers of overseas workers, refugees and asylum seekers 


Assessing the care home environment

Care homes for adults: The design guide

EHE Environmental assessment tool: Is your home dementia friendly?

MWC: Decisions about technology, good practice guide




Agency worker: the Act defines an agency worker as being within the meaning of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. Any staff directly employed by the relevant organisation are not included within this meaning. 

Care Inspectorate: the Care Inspectorate is the independent national scrutiny and assurance body responsible for the registration and regulation of care services in Scotland. We scrutinise and inspect services to ensure they meet high standards. Where the need for improvement is identified, they support services to make positive changes. We are referred to in the HCSSA as Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland. 

Care service providers: those providing a care service listed in section 47(1) of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. 

Staffing Method:  sets out a process for determining staffing, involving the use of speciality-specific staffing level and professional judgement, consideration of quality measures, and a range of other factors, such as the local context, patient needs and appropriate clinical advice. From this, risks are identified, and steps taken to mitigate them, and the organisation determines whether it needs to make any changes to the staffing establishment. 

Earn and Learn model: a model of employment where individuals are able to combine work and study. 

Health and Social Care Standards: standards setting out what people should expect when using health, social care, or social work services in Scotland. 

Multi-disciplinary services: the Act defines these as “health care or care services delivered together by individuals from a range of professional disciplines as necessary in order to meet the needs of and improve standards and outcomes for people who use services. 

Professional disciplines: the different types of health care / care professions, for example nursing, psychology, dentistry, physiotherapy etc. 

Professional Judgement: managers and staff use professional judgment to make decisions every day. They may share problems with a colleague who have more experience and knowledge. Refer to professional codes of practice and put safety first for those they care for and colleagues. Base decisions on evidence and consider the needs, wishes and preferences of those affected by their decisions. It is important to record the decision based on the key factors. 

Registered nurse: a nurse included on the register of members maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Council under section 60 of the Health Act 1999. 

Scottish Social Services Council: the national regulator for the social work, social care and children and young people workforce, and lead for workforce development and planning for social services in Scotland, with responsibility for: publishing national codes of practice for those working in social services and their employers; registering those working in social services and ensuring they adhere to the codes of practice; promotion and regulation of the learning and development of the social service workforce; and providing official statistics for the sector. 

Secondary legislation: secondary legislation is a term for law made under an Act of Parliament or Act of the Scottish Parliament (primary legislation), for example regulations or an order. Secondary legislation can be used to implement the detailed policy behind primary legislation. Secondary legislation could also be referred to as subordinate legislation, Statutory Instruments (SIs) Scottish Statutory Instruments (SSIs) or delegated legislation. 

Service delivery models: a model used to deliver a health care or care service; the way in which a health care or care service is delivered. 

Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland: see Care Inspectorate. 

Staffing levels: the number of staff. 

Staffing level tool: a staffing level tool is designed to provide quantitative information relating to workload, based on patient needs, in order to assist in determining the appropriate staffing levels for a particular kind of health care provision. A staffing level tool requires individuals to input certain information about the location in which it is being used, such as a ward or a community service. The tool then outputs quantitative information about staffing, to assist in determining appropriate staffing levels. 

Supernumerary: staff that are not counted as a part of the staffing required for safe and effective care in that setting, often because they are students.