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Leadership development

We support leadership development at all levels in social care, social work and early years and work with different services to support their leadership development activity.

Why is leadership development important?

Developing leadership behaviours and skills contributes to the continuous professional learning of the workforce. Developing leadership at all levels is important because everyone in the workforce, regardless of role or position, contributes to the delivery of quality care for the people of Scotland.

Our Enabling Leadership research identifies what good leadership looks like in Scotland’s social services and continues to inform our leadership development activity. The research includes our leadership logic model which illustrates what good leadership looks like in Scotland's social services. Our work aims to support frontline workers, managers and strategic leaders to recognise and use their leadership capability to contribute to the design and delivery of services that meet the personal outcomes of the people using them. We also continue to support the development of Citizen Leadership.

You can find our leadership development resources, assess your own leadership capability and plan how to develop it on our Step into Leadership website. It hosts several resources designed specifically to support leadership development in social care, social work or children and young people services. These include 23 Things Leadership, 23 Things Early Learning and Childcare Leadership, and the Frontline Worker Leadership Capability Feedback Tool.




Leadership and the Continuous Learning Framework

The Continuous Learning Framework supports workers and organisations to understand the relationship between knowledge, skills, values and understanding; qualifications and training; personal capability; and organisational capability. We use the Continuous Learning Framework to support learning activity including leadership development.

Leadership development across public services

We work with partners across social services to identify leadership learning needs, and support the development, delivery and evaluation of different leadership learning activities.

Leading to Change

This new national programme of leadership development, initiated by Scottish Government and delivered in collaboration with NHS Education for Scotland (NES), will offer a range of leadership development activities for people working in social care, social work, and health. We are supporting the development and use of this learning activity across social care and social work. Leading to Change aims to support leadership learning across the wider system, improving collaboration and creating more opportunities for colleagues delivering integrated services to learn together.

  • Attend the regular leadership events, which are promoted on the Leading to Change website.
  • Share leadership stories.
  • Support people to use Leading to Change activity and resources to improve aspects of leadership and learning.
  • Support the development of further leadership learning resources.

Leadership for Integration

Leadership for Integration is a collaboration between the SSSC, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland. It offers a range of leadership learning activities for mixed cohorts of social care, social work and health workers. It specifically supports the development of collaborative leadership capability necessary for achieving the vision of health and social care integration in Scotland. One of these activities is You as a Collaborative Leader, a programme for social service and health professionals to develop the skills and knowledge to lead effectively across integrated settings where effective collaboration is essential.

Leading for the Future

Leading for the Future is an innovative package of leadership and management development. It has been designed specifically for those in senior leadership positions in social work, social care, health and related organisations. The programme is run in partnership across several Health Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships in Scotland and welcomes colleagues from partner organisations across public services.



If you want to know more about our leadership activities, please contact us at or follow us on Twitter.

We’d like to hear from you if you are developing, or would like to develop, your personal or organisational leadership capability and require some guidance on how to do this.

Useful links

Enabling Leadership

Leadership Logic Model

Step into Leadership

Frontline worker Leadership Capability Tool

23 Things Leadership

23 Things ELC Leadership

Continuous Learning Framework

Leading to Change

Leadership for Integration - You as a Collaborative Leader (YACL)

Leading for the Future


Find out more about registering with the SSSC including what qualifications you need and how much it costs.

Supporting the workforce

Discover our free learning resources and how our work can support your learning and development.

Fitness to practise

Read more about our fitness to practise process, registrant responsibilities and how to make a complaint about a worker.