Our role

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) has a responsibility for workforce data and intelligence. The aim of our work is to provide information for Scottish Ministers as required and to produce workforce data, information and intelligence for employers and other stakeholders that supports the development of the sector. The broad outline of our role is set out below:

Data collection

The SSSC undertakes two main workforce data collections annually. One is a survey of local authority social work services (LASWS) conducted each December. This gathers data on those working in local authority social work services which are not registered care services as defined under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001. The other survey is of people employed as Mental Health Officers (MHOs) by local authorities and is also undertaken in December.


The data collected in the LASWS survey is combined with workforce data collected by the Care Inspectorate from all registered care services to create the annual Scottish Social Services Workforce Data report (this is an Official Statistics publication). The data collected in the MHO survey is published as the Mental Health Officer's report (this is a National Statistics publication).

Official Statistics and National Statistics

In June 2012 the Scottish Parliament approved a motion to make the SSSC's annual report on the sector's workforce an Official Statistics (OS) publication. Around the same time the SSSC took over responsibility from Scottish Government for the annual survey and report on Mental Health Officers (MHOs) in Scotland, which has been a National Statistics (NS) publication.

Further information on the implications for the SSSC of being an OS and NS producer can be found here.

In addition to the above workforce data publications the SSSC also publish a number of other workforce reports some regular some occasional. These include:

Data for other parts of the UK

Historically, social work and other social services in Scotland have not been joined up with social services in other parts of the UK. The footprint and structure of social services differed across all four nations throughout the 20th century and predates devolution in the late 1990s.

If you are looking for data on the other three nations of the UK there are a range of bodies that may be able to help you depending on the nature of your query. We do not make much use of data on the rest of the UK so the information below may not be fully up to date.


a)Skills for Care publish data on adult social services and you can visit their website here: https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Home.aspx

b) We understand that the Department for Education in England publishes annual data on social workers in children’s services.

Northern Ireland

a) In Northern Ireland social services have been part of the NHS since the early-1970’s and data on the public sector workforce can be found here: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/topics/dhssps-statistics-and-research/workforce-statistics

b) The Northern Ireland Social Care Council – also publish data on those social service staff registered with them and can be found here: https://niscc.info/


a) Data on the social service workforce is published by Social Care Wales here: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/topics/dhssps-statistics-and-research/workforce-statistics”