Open Call for Comment - The Development of SDS Standards

It is widely acknowledged that the implementation of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 has been variable across Scotland with the Adult Social Care Reform Programme seeking to redress this.  The terms of reference for the recently announced Independent Review of Adult Social Care reflect that this remains a priority.

Since November 2019 the Social Work Scotland’s SDS project team have engaged in consultation with key national and local stakeholders, including local authorities, national partner organisations and supported people, drawing on national research to design and test a framework of practice for SDS.  The framework that has been produced consists of a set of co-produced standards, helpful resources and action statements, building on the Change Map, to assist local authorities to ensure greater consistency for the ongoing implementation of SDS.

The team have learned from their engagement with Local Authorities that there are many excellent examples SDS practice across Scotland, however, it is also acknowledged that sometimes this practice can only be achieved under the right systemic conditions.

It is essential to have a well-designed supportive system and a confident workforce for SDS to be implemented well.  This includes, having strong leadership, a well-supported and trained workforce, transparent processes, worker autonomy and a clear focus on Human Rights.

This open call for comment is primarily targeted at capturing opinions on the draft standards from practitioners who will be expected to implement them.  We will be looking to develop action statements that sit behind the standards that outline what good effective SDS practice is. We are asking the workforce to provide helpful ideas to develop these action statements. We also welcome comment from supported people and their carers to help inform the details around what staff need to do to help them achieve full choice and control over their supports.

The standards align with both the Children’s Charter and the Health and Social Care Standards, both of which outline what people can expect from their care and supports in terms of them being personalised and the level of involvement they can expect to have at all times from assessment through to the delivery of care and support.
We would welcome your input on the draft standards and your comments will inform the final report and recommendations that will be presented to COSLA in February 2021.

This open call for comment will close on the 8 January 2021.

Who should complete the Open Call for Comment?
We’re asking for comments from personal assistants and registered workers in Social Work, Social Care and Health services, supported people and their carers.

Questions, comments or help
If you have any questions or comments about how we’ll use the information you provide, want to provide feedback that’s relevant to the SDS team, or need the survey in another digital format, please contact

We are particularly interested to hear your thoughts around:
  • The standards themselves
  • Examples of good practice in your area that you are aware of
  • What you feel you would need to support you in your role in order for the standards to be implemented
  • Learning from COVID-19
  • Creative uses of SDS particularly with those who are most vulnerable, complex and on the edge of care.
  • Your ability to practice in a way that is aligned to the values and principles of SDS.
  • Your ability to build relationships with the people you work with
The SDS Standards:

Area of relevance SDS Standards
Access to independent support and advocacy 1. Adults, children, young people and their carers are offered independent advice, support and advocacy to have choice and control over their social care and support and to exercise their human rights.
Early help and support 2. Early help and support is available to all people who need it.
Strength and asset based approaches 3. Assessment, support planning and review systems and processes are personalised, recognising people’s strengths, assets and community supports, and result in agreed personal outcomes.
Outcome monitoring 4. Agreed personal outcomes are monitored through ongoing review processes. Reliable outcome data is captured routinely, is used for continuous improvement and demonstrates the extent to which SDS practice is carried out as intended.
Accountability 5. Clear and supportive processes are in place for SDS decisions to be challenged and appealed.
Risk enablement 6. Workers and supported people work together through shared decision making to plan for positive risk enablement whilst balancing the responsibility of statutory protection of children, young people, adults and carers. Consideration should be given to supported decision making in relation to capacity.
Flexible and outcome focused commissioning 7. Commissioners shape the local markets to support people to live their lives in ways which evidence choice and control over their care and supports.
Worker autonomy 8. Workers are enabled to exercise professional autonomy in support planning and setting personal budgets within agreed delegated parameters.
Transparency 9. Processes and decisions that affect a supported person’s social care budget and options are recorded and/or explained in ways that make sense to the supported person. This includes helping the person understand what direct care and support they are eligible for, their level of contribution and how a budget can be spent.
Early planning for transitions 10. The Principles of Good Transitions are embedded within SDS policy, planning and practice across all sectors as a framework to support young people and families. Transition planning processes have the person’s wellbeing, aspirations and personal outcomes at the centre. Young people and their families are given the time, information and help they need to make choices and have control of their care and support as they move into the next phase of their lives.
Consistency of care 11. Supported people moving from one local authority to another can expect their agreed personal outcomes to be met in a comparable way.

Question Title

* 1. Please consider:
Resources, leadership, culture, independent support organisations, personalisation, co-production, active citizenship, human rights, eligibility criteria, community models, asset- and strength-based approaches, flexible commissioning, worker autonomy, transparency, outcome monitoring, urban/rural, transitions, consistency of care, COVID-19 

0 of 1 answered