The development of Support Staff Training is a key area in the 2008-2009 SMSDN Business Plan. This qualification meets this strategic target.
No other organisation currently provides this training. Other training available consists of generic courses that do not meet the specific needs of staff working in this field. This qualification is specifically designed to meet the needs of Member Support staff and to develop their skills and knowledge in a specialised area of work.
Accredited training will enable continuing professional development of staff working in this field and will enhance career opportunities for other staff working across Scottish Councils.
The SMSDN believes that the role of Member Support is complex and specialist. Having analysed member support jobs across Scottish Local Authorities it is recognised that the role could support 3 levels of training:
- A basic induction for those coming new to the role
- The core job function
- Advanced knowledge and skills for experienced staff
It is the vision of SMSDN to address these levels within a framework of continuous improvement. Initially, in consultation with members of SMSDN, it has been agreed to concentrate on the core job function and to pitch the qualification at SCQF Level 7.
SMSDN decided initially to sponsor the delivery of Unit 1 of the qualification as a pilot but have successfully developed the full qualification which was rolled out in September 2009.
Since 2010 we now have 11 students who have successfully undertaken the course.