Induction standards and codes

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The Scottish Government Healthcare Support Worker's (HCSWs) Induction Standards provide a means for ensuring that all new HCSW staff have the knowledge and skills needed to contribute effectively to the delivery of healthcare and to protect the public from harm.

What are the standards?

As a statutory requirement for all new HCSWs joining NHS Scotland, the mandatory Induction Standards (refer to Appendix 1 page 16) provide a framework to deal with induction more consistently and effectively by making sure it is integrated and located "on the job" as much as possible. 

The mandatory Induction Standards are made up of 14 interlinked statements which new HCSWs in NHS Scotland will need to meet within 3 months of starting their job (or part-time equivalent). The Standards reflect many of the areas which a new member of staff can be expected to learn about during an induction period, which will include both corporate and on-the-job induction.

The term 'healthcare support worker' as set up in CEL23 covers a very wide range of roles, both clinical and non-clinical.

The mandatory Induction Standards and Code of Conduct do not apply to registered healthcare professionals, unpaid volunteers and staff working under certain specific contractual arrangements.

The HCSW Induction Standards become the foundations for the Code of Conduct for HCSWs throughout their careers.

What is the healthcare support worker code of conduct?

The Code of Conduct was introduced by the Scottish Government in recognition of the important role HCSWs play in a patient's experience or care and services in NHS Scotland.  It is a national code which applies to all HCSWs in NHS Scotland.  It is based on the following principles:

  • Protection of the public
  • Safe, effective and patient-centred care/services
  • Alignment with how healthcare professionals are regulated
  • Making sure Standards are consistent across NHS Scotland

Full details of the definition of 'Healthcare Support Worker' can be found in the Chief Executives' Letter (CEL) 23.  Every health board has a strategic lead for the mandatory Induction Standards and Code of Conduct.  Your Human Resources department should be able to tell you who this is and how to access local information. 

The Code of Conduct does not apply to registered healthcare professionals, unpaid volunteers and staff working under certain specific contractual arrangements. 

** Important note: The Code of Conduct for HCSWs, induction standards and CEL23 are the responsibility of the Scottish Government as the author.  NES is not responsible for the currency of these documents. The documents may be reviewed and updated in light of the Healthcare Support Worker commission currently underway. **