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Standards for the Healthcare Workforce
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Occupational standards



Professional & Regulatory standards



Performance Management of Healthcare workers



Complaints about Healthcare workers

















To set and maintain standards within NHSScotland, healthcare staff are required to comply with occupational, professional and/or regulatory standards.

Regulation is one way of monitoring compliance with standards

Regulating an occupational or professional group within the healthcare workforce can take a number of forms, including:

  • Statutory / professional body regulation
  • Voluntary body regulation
  • Team Regulation
  • Peer Regulation
  • Employer-led regulation
  • Individual self-/ professional-self regulation

Regulation focuses on making sure that members of the occupational or professional group reach and maintain the minimum standards expected of that occupational or professional group.

The sole purpose of statutory regulation is to protect the public and it covers:

  • Entry to the professions
  • Standards for Professional practice, and
  • Standards for Professional conduct

Any form of regulation is however part of a broader framework covering, for example, complaints and capability procedures, clinical governance and staff governance frameworks.

Policy sponsorship within the Scottish Government Health Directorate, for regulation of the healthcare workforce, comes from the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland.

How can this information be used?
Employers, employees and others working in NHSScotland can use this information in a number of ways, including:

  • To help managers to analyse how the workforce can help meet the needs of the service
  • To measure a practitioner's performance against nationally-recognised standards
  • To clarify the level of performance expected of a practitioner within a specific area of practice
  • To make links between standards required of the healthcare workforce and the Knowledge and Skills Framework
  • To provide information to employers, employees, members of the public and others on the standards that they can expect from members of the healthcare team, and
  • To influence how we:

    Support, and
    Develop staff and manage their performance
    In addition, members of the public may use this information to see how the NHS and others regulate healthcare staff.

In this section, you will find information on: