Leadership and Continuous Learning Framework (CLF)

There are many workers in social services who have gained a qualification or are working towards a qualification. It might be you need to do this to register with us, your employer might have suggested it or you may have decided yourself. Learning and development is important for workers, employers and people who use social services, their carers and their families but it shouldn’t stop once you gain a qualification. Workers and employers need to continue to develop skills, values, knowledge and the softer skills and behaviours as well as developing a culture to support learning in order to deliver services that meet peoples’ needs.


There is a direct link between good performance in social services and effective leadership. Developing leadership at all levels in social services is important if services are to overcome future challenges and develop in line with key policy drivers such as the integration of health and social care, the implementation of self-directed support and the development of services in early years.

The Strategy for developing leadership capacity in Scotland’s social services 2013-2015 aims to develop leadership capability at all levels of workers and improve outcomes for people who use social services in Scotland, their carers and their families. The development of Citizen Leadership is a key part of the strategy.

The Step into Leadership website gives you access to tools and resources for workers, managers, strategic leaders and people who use services to explore leadership. It provides a range of leadership development resources that allow you to plan and develop your own leadership pathway and invites you to use the leadership capabilities and the Leadership and Management for Care Services National Occupational Standards as a basis for this.

Follow the SSSC Leadership team on Twitter to keep up to date with news.

Continuous Learning Framework

Six leadership capabilities build on the personal capabilities in the CLF. These describe the behaviours and softer skills workers need to develop themselves and others.

In partnership with Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) we launched the CLF in 2008 after a Scottish Government report Changing Lives: the Report of the 21st Century Social Work highlighted the need to develop the learning and continuous improvement of workers to be the best they can be.

For social service workers to develop their personal and leadership capability, organisations needs to develop how they support learning. Employers can use the organisational capabilities of the CLF to help develop this.

The CLF illustrates the need for workers and organisations to develop knowledge, skills and values and to recognise this by achieving qualifications, developing cultures to support learning and developing softer skills and behaviours required to deliver social services that meet peoples’ needs. The different parts of the CLF underpin all the workforce development and planning work of the SSSC, in particular the leadership strategy.

Visit the CLF website for more information about how workers and employers can use the CLF. You can also access practical examples of how other organisations are using it.

Visit our Leadership and CLF current work page to keep up to date with news.