Common Core of skills, knowledge and values

The Common Core of skills, knowledge and values outlines the key attributes that everyone working with Scotland’s people should have. It provides an opportunity for shared understanding and practice across different services to meet individuals’ needs and improve outcomes. 

The Common Core attributes are central to everyone working across justice, health, community learning and development and social services. They apply to everyone working in the private, voluntary or public sector including volunteers, self-employed or people employed through agencies.

Although primarily for those working with adults everyone, including people who work with children and young people, can use the Common Core. You do not need to hold a qualification or register with a regulatory body to show you have the positive attributes in the Common Core.

Download the Common Core of skills, knowledge and values grid here.

What are the benefits of the Common Core?

Demonstrating the Common Core attributes can support improved experiences and outcomes for people using services and has benefits for workers and employers too. Recognising that everyone working with people has, at their core, the same attributes will help different disciplines work together.

Through time this could lead to shared terminology and resources in recruitment, induction, guidance, learning and development and qualifications. This could help improve joint learning and working and a greater shared understanding between disciplines.

How did we develop the Common Core?

The need for a Common Core was in the Vision and Strategy for Social Services in Scotland (Scottish Government, 2015) and we led the development work. We convened a Steering Group made up of representatives from key bodies across health, justice, community learning and development and social services.

Using the Common Core for working with children and young people (Scottish Government, 2012) as a starting point the group identified the Common Core of skills, knowledge and values, taking into account key policies and the views of people who use services.

How will we implement the Common Core?

Anyone can use the Common Core and we are working with partners on the Steering Group to support implementation locally and nationally.

First we will focus on induction resources, also outlined in the Vision and Strategy for Social Services in Scotland. We are asking the sector if they would like induction resources that recognise workers take skills from one job to another and provide a record of their learning and development so employers can decide on appropriate induction for new staff.

We held workshops for workers involved in HR, recruitment or learning and development to ask them what should and shouldn’t be in induction resources. Their views will help guide this project. Our aim is to create something that is useful for workers and managers.

How much will implementation of the Common Core cost?

It won’t cost a lot of money to implement the Common Core and organisations could potentially save money by working together. We hope employers will use the Common Core when reviewing their guidance, induction, learning and development and qualifications. There is also the opportunity for employers from different sectors to bring their workers together for learning and development based on the Common Core.

For more information on the Common Core contact: