Promoting Excellence in dementia care

To help you develop the right knowledge and skills for working with people living with dementia, the SSSC and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) developed a learning framework called Promoting Excellence.

Promoting Excellence helps you to:

  • understand the knowledge and skills expected of you in your role

  • identify and explore areas of strengths or gaps in learning

  • prepare for work based qualifications and registration

  • create job descriptions and outlines for workers

  • assess and develop the content of learning programmes.

Promoting Excellence defines four levels of knowledge and skills which will help you identify learning needs and plan appropriate learning activities. Click the arrows below to access some recommended resources.

All of these Promoting Excellence resources are available on the Knowledge Network and Social Services Knowledge Scotland.

Dementia informed practice level

Informed about Dementia: Improving Practice


This interactive DVD supports the learning of all people working in health and social service settings. It is a good starting point for learning and a useful induction resource for new workers.



Dementia skilled practice level

Dementia skilled: improving practice
The areas of learning within this resource are suitable for a variety of workers but especially to those in day care, care at home, housing support and care home settings. We recommend learners first achieve the dementia informed level of practice before progressing to skilled level.

Dementia Skilled: Guidance for assessors, educators, trainers and managers

This guidance shows you how you can use the Dementia Skilled resource to support workforce development and highlights the underpinning knowledge within the resource which can support the acquisition of work based qualifications such as SVQ3 Social Services and Healthcare (SCQF level 7).


Learning technology


Visit our Learning Zone to find the following learning apps, available on Android and iOS. 

Understanding dementia

Understanding stress and distress for people with dementia

Personal outcomes for people living with dementia

Open badges

Open badges are available for all learning apps. Find out more about these digital records of achievement and skills, visit  

Dementia enhanced practice level

Enhanced dementia practice for social workers and other professionals

This online resource supports social workers to develop the knowledge and skills they will need in specific areas of care and support for people with dementia, their families and carers. It will also be relevant to other professionals including managers, allied health practitioners, trainers and educators.

Promoting psychological wellbeing for people with dementia and their carers

This resource by NES supports people in a variety of roles to develop their understanding of dementia from a psychological perspective.

Dementia expertise practice level

Workers who are practicing at the expertise level of Promoting Excellence will be those with a high degree of responsibility in specialised areas of care and support, for example those working as mental health officers.


Learning can be self directed however will often involve completion of post qualifying programmes.


The Dementia Managed Knowledge Network website has evidence summaries, journals and best practice to support enhanced and expertise level learning.


Minimum practice level

Your minimum practice level relates to your involvement in promoting a good quality of life for people with dementia through your role in care and support and not your seniority within your profession or organisation.

To help you to understand the framework and plan for embedding the learning in your organisation we have created a guide Promoting Excellence: planning for dementia learning and development.

Learn more about the Promoting Excellence practice levels below:

Promoting excellence level descriptors

Dementia informed practice level

Provides the baseline knowledge and skills required by all staff working in health and social service settings including a person's own home.

Example of role and SSSC registration categories:

Cooks or gardeners in care homes, drivers for a day care centre, receptionists in care and support services. Those working in services for children are also included here.

Dementia skilled practice level

Describes the knowledge and skills required by all staff that have direct and/or substantial contact with people with dementia and their families and carers.

Example of role and SSSC registration categories:

Support workers and practitioners in care at home, day care and care home settings. Trainers, educators and assessors who contribute to learning and assessment in social service settings.

Dementia enhanced practice level

Outlines the knowledge and skills required by health and social service staff who have more regular and intense contact with people with dementia, provide specific interventions and/or direct/manage care and services.

Example of role and SSSC registration categories:

Practitioners and supervisors with a more specific, focused or intense roles supporting people with dementia, their families and carers. Care home, care at home and day care managers. Social workers in adult care roles, occupational therapists and post-diagnostic support dementia link workers.

Dementia expertise practice level

Outlines the knowledge and skills required for health and social service staff who by virtue of their role and practice setting play an expert specialist role in the care, treatment and support of people with dementia.

Example of role and SSSC registration categories:

Those in professional and expert roles can include Mental Health Officers and a range of other professionals offering specific expertise including mental health nurses, dieticians, nutritionists, speech and language therapists and pharmacists.


Taking part in Promoting Excellence – become a Dementia Ambassador

Dementia Ambassadors work in social service settings and are passionate about improving the lives of people with dementia and their families and carers.

They work closely with the workforce and support others to improve their knowledge and skills by promoting learning opportunities and spreading awareness.

Go to our Dementia Ambassadors page to learn more about what they do and find out how to sign up.

You may also find these links useful:

SSSC News – Dementia
Scottish Government – Dementia
NHS Education for Scotland – Dementia
Alzheimer Scotland
Dementia Services Development Centre
Equal Partners in Care - Resources to support you to work well with carers and young carers
Become a Dementia Ambassador
Care Inspectorate The Hub
The Knowledge Network - Access additional Promoting Excellence resources
The Dementia MKN - A network of information, resources and opportunities for discussion