Section 2 Competences for Advisers and Agencies
The Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers (the Standards) require services to consider the quality of processes that are in place to manage and deliver the service, but crucially to also give serious consideration to the support mechanisms that are in place to ensure the quality of advice delivered.
The competences detailed in this section give you the framework for supporting the development and maintenance of competence in your organisation. Section 2 of the Standards includes:
- the generic competences required by advisers and by agencies to ensure effective service delivery
- the topic specific or knowledge competences related to areas of law required by advisers and by agencies to provide quality of advice in these areas. This section is divided into those relating to housing issues and those related to the provision of money and welfare rights advice
You should be looking at how practice within your service matches up to the activities outlined in each of the competences. You should note that depending upon the sort of service and methods of service delivery that you provide, the range of activities to achieve the Standards may vary.
In all cases the competences are set against the Type of information or advice work that the adviser is undertaking and that your agency has elected to provide.
In addition to the competences in this part of the Standards, reference materials required to support the knowledge requirements are available on both the Scottish Government and Michael Bell Associates websites ( www.scotland.gov.uk and www.mba4consultancy.co.uk ).
A note on using this section of the Standards
The Scottish Government has developed a structured approach to looking at the meaning of competence in practice. This involves breaking competence down into its key components, which are:
- Generic competence which includes both skills and knowledge requirements for advisers and agencies to ensure effective service delivery
- Knowledge competence of relevant areas of law
- The application of core skills and knowledge in practice
You should already have decided the range of areas of law that are covered by your organisation. You should also have decided the Type of service that is provided. This has implications for the sets of competences that staff will need to achieve.