Social Care Pressures

The cost-of-living crisis is having a profoundly negative effect on social care providers in the third sector.

The cost-of-living crisis is having a profoundly negative effect on social care providers in the third sector. Our members are facing increasing bills and shortages in staffing, whilst they prepare for increasing demand. And they are facing all of this without uplifts to the funding they receive to deliver care and support.

CCPS is working with our 91 members to influence national decision-making so that third sector social care and support providers can deliver crucial and sustainable services for people across Scotland. With our members we have produced our winter manifesto: Urgent Action for Urgent Times and have shared this with the Scottish Government, CoSLA and the Scottish Parliament.  It builds on a survey we conducted with members this autumn to share in a briefing with the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee as they assessed national plans for the winter.  We are clear – the changes we are asking for are needed urgently.

As our work to increase sustainability in social care progresses, we will post more updates here.

Rachel Cackett

Chief Executive Officer

UPDATE 29 November 2022

Following announcement of improved offers to public sector colleagues, which have not been matched by any similar increases for third sector providers to support the principle of Fair Work, CCPS wrote to the Cabinet Secretary to ask for an urgent response to our winter manifesto – particularly around Fair Work. We also asked for clarity on which parts of the health and social care budget are funding the increased offer.

Our Work

Our mission is to identify, represent, promote and safeguard the interests of third sector and not-for-profit social care and support providers in Scotland, so that they can maximise the impact they have on meeting social need.

CCPS is the Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland.

Our mission is to identify, represent, promote and safeguard the interests of third sector and not-for-profit social care and support providers in Scotland, so that they can maximise the impact they have on meeting social need.

We aim to provide solutions and thought leadership in policy for the social care sector. Our work is built with the expert voices of our active membership. We engage collaboratively with partners across sectors.

We currently run a number of Scottish Government funded workstreams to help us meet our mission:

Our Commissioning and Procurement Programme is actively building leadership, promoting new ideas and supporting change towards the all-important delivery of ethical commissioning and procurement in social care.  We work in active partnership with commissioners, providers and supported people.

Our Workforce Development Network supports third sector social care providers to contribute to national workforce agendas and works to underpin essential sustainability for the sector.  This includes influencing the national Fair Work agenda, the future of regulation and workforce planning.

Our Digital Programme provides support, information, learning and development opportunities to third sector providers in the digital arena, as well as running problem solving networks.  It is now heavily engaged in helping to shape digital opportunities through the National Care Service.

Our Children and Young People’s Programme gathers expertise from the sector to influence key areas of national work, such as the Whole Family Wellbeing Fund.

In addition, we work with our membership to influence the wider reform agenda through the National Care Service, we speak up for the sector around wider issues of sustainability during these difficult economic times, and we were a key player in ensuring the needs of the sector have been reflected in COVID planning.

CCPS also hosts the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum and the Housing Support Enabling Unit (in collaboration with the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations).


Rachel Cackett

Chief Executive Officer

All about careers in social care

A downloadable resource for recruitment and raising awareness of the sector

Please download and make use of our information sheet about the careers available in social care in the voluntary sector.

This is a two-page resource looking at:

  • Who can work in social care (information on qualifications, skills and criminal records)
  • The range of jobs that are available
  • Personal care – when and how it fits into a social care role
  • What working in social care means for your pay, job security, working patterns and career development

Click to download the information sheet


National Care Service

The proposed establishment of a National Care Service is the most significant piece of public sector reform in Scotland since devolution and goes to the heart of what our CCPS members do every day.  Our most recent contributions to the debate on change can be found on this page.

The proposed establishment of a National Care Service is the most significant piece of public sector reform in Scotland since devolution and goes to the heart of what our CCPS members do every day.  Our most recent contributions to the debate on change can be found on this page.

Much of the current national focus of reform is on the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill, but the change we want to see goes far beyond this. CCPS’ vision for the reform of social care and support in Scotland is that: Individuals and families are enabled to realise their aspirations and thrive through a rights- and relationship-based integrated public care and support system that is designed collaboratively, delivered locally and accessible equitably to everyone who needs it.

CCPS has gathered together everything it has said over recent months and created a model for social care and support reform which will guide all of our work to influence and shape the future.  We hope that members, partners, the Scottish Government and MSPs will find this a helpful summary of our aspirations as the debates on a National Care Service continue.


A timeline on the National Care Service and CCPS responses – so far..

November 2022: CCPS publishes a discussion paper on potential amendments to the legislation. The paper makes clear that the Bill falls short of supporting delivery of our model of reform, but sets out some initial ideas for wider discussion on how it might be amended to get it closer to our aspirations.  CCPS has already begun holding meetings to discuss the paper and we will continue to do so over the start of 2023. Further comments welcomed @ccpscotland.

September 2022: CCPS submits evidence to the Scottish Goverment Health, Social Care and Sport Committee and the Finance Committee, setting out our initial position on the legislation, noting that we remain open to working collaboratively and constructively with the Scottish Government and partners on reform, but noting concerns with the direction set out in the Bill.

August 2022: The Fraser of Allander Institute, funded by CCPS, publishes a detailed briefing on the financial implications of the National Care Service Bill. We note that: “The Bill in its current form raises significant questions which remain to be answered about the affordability of a National Care Service and the investment required to sustain it in the long term.”

June 2022: The National Care Service (Scotland) Bill is introduced to the Scottish Parliament and CCPS provides initial comment, calling for “a system and structure for social care and support based on respect, partnership and collaboration”

November 2021: CCPS responds to the consultation on a National Care Service noting that “the ambition set out by the [Feeley Review] team is not wholly reflected in the proposals”.

August 2021: CCPS welcomes the launch of the Scottish Government consultation on a National Care Service.

February 2021: The Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland (“The Feeley Review”) is published.  CCPS welcomes the Review and “its call for a renewed purpose for social care with human rights at its heart”. The Scottish Government accepts the findings of the Feeley Review

September 2020: The Scottish Government commissions former NHS Scotland CEO, Derek Feeley, to conduct an Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland.  CCPS submits its response in November, setting out how we think the sector can be reset.


The Workforce Development Network (WDN) supports voluntary sector social services providers to contribute to the national workforce agenda with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes for people who use services.

The Workforce Development Network (WDN), through a grant from Scottish Government, supports voluntary sector social services providers to contribute to the national workforce agenda with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes for people who use services.

The WDN supports providers to:

  • build their capacity for workforce development and workforce engagement;
  • contribute to the development of workforce policy and practice;
  • contribute their expertise and experience to relevant advisory and working groups;

CCPS Workforce Development Priorities

The WDN has three priorities, which underlie all of its work:

  • The voluntary sector social service workforce is considered and treated as a key and equal partner in major policy and practice developments;
  • Voluntary sector evidence, expertise and providers’ perspectives influence the development of social services workforce policy;
  • Government and other stakeholders recognise the value of the sector’s workforce and ensure this is appropriately rewarded with particular reference to recruitment and retention issues.

The priorities compliment work being taken forward independently by CCPS in accordance with our workforce related strategic outcome: ‘The voluntary sector provider workforce is well qualified, competent and confident, with good pay and conditions’.

We look at issues related to:

  • Regulation
  • Support for the workforce with digital technology
  • Legislation, policy and practice developments
  • Workforce sustainability (recruitment, retention and workforce planning)

The main areas of focus for the second half of 2021 will be safer recruitment, digital skills and workforce planning.

We will also continue to support providers with workforce issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of short-term response and long-term recovery.

For further information, contact our team:
Alison Christie, Senior Policy and Development Officer (Workforce)
Megan Williams, Policy and Development Officer (Workforce)

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The Commissioning and Procurement Programme

The Commissioning and Procurement programme is a programme of local and national policy and practice change hosted by CCPS.

The Commissioning and Procurement Programme is fully funded by Scottish Government and aims to provide cross -sectoral support to organisations and people looking to improve how social care is commissioned and procured.

The Commissioning and Procurement Programme provides support to those leading change in local authority commissioning and procurement roles, third sector support providers and supported people by running a programme of events, collaborative change projects, provider representation, sharing good practice examples of commissioning and procurement practice and by working to influence Scottish Government on social care policy.

Read more on:-

Contact us: email Catherine Garrod

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The CCPS Digital Programme

Providing support, information, learning and development opportunities.

The CCPS Digital programme is funded by the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Digital Social Care programme of the Scottish Government to support third sector providers of social care by providing support, information, learning and development opportunities.

The CCPS Digital Programme will also contribute to policy and legislative consultations arising from the development of the National Care Service in relation to digital and data.

The programme’s main activities include:

  • Creating opportunities for networking and collaboration between Third Sector care and support providers, statutory sector partners and others working within the technology sector
  • Facilitating small group problem solving networks to bring providers together to work through shared challenges on identified issues
  • Representation and policy influencing to strengthen the voice of Third Sector providers in the development of national policy and implementation
  • Gathering and sharing evidence and learning to explore the capacity for shared digital system solutions across the sector and gathering examples of good practice, learning and the impact of policies on Third Sector providers
  • Information and support to share sector learning and give providers the information, knowledge, and contacts to develop and adopt digital practice

These activities currently focus on four themes that correspond to priorities set out in the Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Care Strategy:

  • Digital services: developing a better understanding of the role of digital in the context of care and support commissioning (including service design) and procurement
  • Digital foundations: supporting digital maturity among our members, including cyber resilience;
  • Digital skills and leadership: supporting a digitally skilled care and support workforce;
  • Data-driven services and insights: encouraging better use of data, data sharing, and citizen access to data;

Contact us

Why Digital?

Why Digital?  See our co-produced animation illustrating our ambitions for an integrated and digitally enhanced world of health and care services and support could mean for citizens and people who need support.

Digital: Activities

The Digital Programme supports a range of activities for members and interested stakeholders.

Seminar Series

This is a monthly online series of ‘short & sharp’ seminars (1.5 hours) led by members, often involving external experts, on a range of digital topics of practical and strategic interest to care and support providers.  Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about these sessions or suggest a theme.  Presentations, related links and recordings are available for members.

  • August – Exploring internal staff comms – provider case studies
  • June – CivTech – How it works and how you can benefit
  • May 2022 – Exploring the Data Theme: SSSC Date, Scottish Government Data Strategy, and Data standards and sharing across third sector care and support providers
  • March 2022 – Cyber Resilience and incident management
  • January 2022 – Microsoft 365 and Teams
  • December 2021 – Microsoft Power BI

Access Group user group

This group meets quarterly and brings together members using Access Group care management software,
including People Planner, care planning, etc., to share information, support learning and identify potential development opportunities. To join the group, please get in touch with us.

Third sector cyber catalysts

CCPS members participate in the third sector cyber catalyst group, coordinated by the Scottish Government
Cyber Resilience Third Sector Unit – further information about the group and cyber resources and support available to the third sector are on our web page here.

Data Lab sessions on Driving Value from Data

A series of three intensive workshops for members held online in February/March 2022 covered:

  • Case studies and interviews from data leaders across The Data Lab’s network
  • Tools to both assess maturity and plan future strategy
  • Guidance on how to transition from strategy to successful execution

We continue to work with the Data Lab to support better understanding and use of data across our sector, including collaboration to develop shared data standards, benchmarking and improved sharing of data for the benefit of the people our members support.

External Working Groups

CCPS and its members are involved in supporting the development of digital and data policy for the benefit of service users and the long-term quality and sustainability of care and support provision.

We participate in/or organise sector representation for the following forums:

  • Scottish Government Digital Citizens’ Board – supports the work of the Digital Health and Care Directorate
  • Digital Social Care Delivery Board
  • The Scottish Government Digital Social Care Team (TEC Team) – The team delivers the TEC programme and links with external related work
  • Digifest and Digital Learning Network Steering Group – Plans and supports delivery of the annual Digifest conference and series of related seminars and events, and the annual Digital Learning Network conference
  • NES – Building Digital Skills and Leadership Board; Building Digital Skills and Leadership Reference Group; and the NES Digital Leadership Programme
  • MySSSC
  • The Scottish Government’s National Care Service reference group

Digital: Information and Resources

CCPS members did a remarkable job of swiftly integrating digital and technology-based solutions to maintain care and support in Scotland during the Covid pandemic. 

CCPS Resources

CCPS Digital: Care and Support Innovation through Covid-19
We produced a series of videos and podcasts, in partnership with members, to share experience and advice about what worked well or not, and some of the unexpected benefits for staff and supported people.  The links below take you to stories and information in our three key themes.

Digital innovations continue across the sector and we want to help tell your story – please get in touch!

Our three themes:

  • Workforce wellbeing
  • Digital service transformation
  • Collaborative solutions

Scottish Government Resources

Scottish Government’s Digital Health and Care Directorate – key responsibilities are:

  • leading on policy and strategy, informed by the latest innovations, research, evaluation, and engagement
  • Transforming services through the implementation and spread of digital services and technology
  • Providing expertise on information governance, assurance and cyber security.

Digital Health and Care Strategy – this is a refreshed strategy (October 2021) setting out how Scotland will work together to improve the care and wellbeing of people in Scotland by making best use of digital technologies in the design and delivery of services, in a way, place and time that works best for them.

The Scottish Government Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Programme – The programme focuses on citizen facing digital solutions where “outcomes for individuals in home or community settings are improved through the application of technology as an integral part of quality, cost effective care and support to look after more people at home”

Cyber Resilience – Scottish Government Cyber Resilient Strategy: Cyber Resilient Scotland: strategic framework. Updated in February 2021, this framework sets out the Scottish Government’s vision of what we need to do collectively to make Scotland a digitally secure and digitally resilient nation.

Cyber Scotland – The Cyber Scotland Partnership is a collaborative leadership approach to focus efforts on improving cyber resilience across Scotland and includes the Scottish Government’s key strategic stakeholders in a formal partnership arrangement to drive the delivery of activities that will achieve the outcomes of The Strategic Framework for a Cyber Resilient Scotland: the site includes up to the minute information about current cyber threats, advice and guidance, incident response resources and reporting, and skills.

Scottish Government Third Sector Cyber Unit – The Unit has supported a number of cyber catalyst working groups, including one for the third sector. Its membership is here: Cyber catalyst working groups: list and information about its goals and activities is here. The most recent report of its activities is here. In terms of recent outputs, it has produced a very helpful outline of the steps an organisation can take to strengthen its cyber resilience: Third-Sector-Cyber-Resilience-Journey-1.pdf

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre – its goal is to support Scottish organisations to have the skills and knowledge to protect themselves against online attacks, through delivery of education and preventative training, as well as actively raising awareness of threats throughout the business community. They have resources on incident response including the excellent Exercise in a Box, a training tool to help organisations consider and plan for incidents – as well as a recently developed incident response planning pack

National Centre for Cyber Security (NCSC) – The UK Government’s cyber security centre, containing information, advice and guidance on current threats, preventive tools and strategies, and incident response

SCVO – helping people and organisations in Scotland develop their digital potential, including events and training, how to guides for digital services and remote working, digital inclusion and skills, including Microsoft training, digital maturity check-up and senior leaders programme

Digital Office – Scottish Local Government – jointly funded by 30 local authorities, it was set up to deliver on the digital transformation strategy for local government agreed in 2016.

Workforce: Benchmarking the Voluntary Sector Workforce

A workforce resource in partnership with the HR Voluntary Sector Forum

2021 Benchmarking Report for CCPS and the HR Voluntary Sector Forum - Executive Summary

Click to download the Executive Summary Report

The annual workforce benchmarking survey, a partnership between CCPS, the HR Voluntary Sector Forum and the University of Strathclyde, has been an invaluable source of voluntary sector data for over ten years and the findings used by the sector to influence national decision making.

The survey is designed to identify workforce trends and issues and generate data on a broad range of critical staffing issues across the sector.

The information collated has enabled CCPS to work in collaboration with the participants to identify and evidence issues of opportunity and challenge and ensure that these are given a focus at national level.

The 2021/ 22 Executive Summary provides information on the workforce issues listed:

  • Workforce profile
  • Working time and flexibility
  • Pay and conditions
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Employee participation and involvement
  • Training and skills
  • Discipline and grievance
  • Equality and diversity