Thing 23: How can I use leadership development to support my career development?


In Thing 23 you will explore how you can use your leadership development to contribute to the achievement of early learning and childcare qualifications and to evidence your learning continuous professional learning (CPL).

Open Badge information

Open Badge: SSSC 23 Things ELC Leadership – Thing 23: How can I use leadership development to support my career development?

You may find it helpful to complete Things 1-4, before starting Thing 23.


Your leadership capability can be split into six key areas – vision, self-leadership, motivating and inspiring, empowering others, collaborating and influencing and creativity and innovation.  We call these the six leadership capabilities for social services in Scotland and we can break each of them down into further detail and indicators that show how well you have, or need, to develop them.  We can use these to underpin leadership development for all workers. Things 5 to 11 focus on the Leadership Capabilities.

For managers, we have a set of national occupational standards called Leadership and Management for Care and again can use these to underpin leadership development activity for those in a management or formal leadership role.  For middle managers we have nine leadership learning domains. Other, practice based, standards include elements of leadership too e.g. the Standard for Childhood Practice, and the National Occupational Standards for Social Services and Healthcare, and Social Services (Children and Young People).

All of these standards can be, and are, used to underpin leadership development activity and qualifications.  You can also use them to help you guide your leadership development which in turn supports your career development.

By developing your leadership capability via the resources on the Step into Leadership website, you will be able to gather evidence to help you meet the knowledge, skills and values requirements of a qualification which relate to leadership. To help you do this, we have highlighted the leadership elements of a number of relevant standards in the Standards and Qualifications part of the website.

Everyone registered with the SSSC must complete and evidence continuous professional learning.  This means that you need to track your career long learning, reflect on how you have used this in practice, and record your reflection for submission with your re-registration if requested.  It is good practice to keep a record of your learning as you go through your career, irrespective of whether or not you are registered with the SSSC.

This learning activity helps you to consider how you might use your leadership learning to support your career long learning and some of the resources available to support you with this.  Many of these are found on the SSSC’s Step into Leadership website.


Stage 1

1. Familiarise yourself with the six leadership capabilities relevant to your role – there are three different sets, one each for frontline workers, managers, and corporate or strategic leaders. If you have completed other Leadership Things from this resource or have used some of the resources on Step into Leadership, you may already be familiar with the capabilities and may have ascertained which of these are strengths for you and which are areas for development.  Even if you have considered them already, it is helpful to re-examine them.

2. Explore the Standards and Qualifications section of the frontline worker or manager pathway in Step into Leadership. This section holds a selection of resources which highlight how leadership capability can be developed via different qualifications that you might undertake and the standards that underpin these.  You should explore those qualifications and standards that you have already studied and those which may be of interest to you in the future.

3. For some specific roles in social services, there are other standards that support your professional learning and development. The development of leadership capability can be supported by these too and you may wish to explore the resources relating to these as relevant e.g. carers and leadership.

Stage 2

4. Reflect on either:

  • a learning activity you have completed recently, big or small — and consider which leadership capabilities you developed via this learning.


  • a qualification you have completed or are completing currently – this could be a qualification you completed to support your registration with the SSSC or a qualification you have undertaken/are undertaking to support your career development. Use the resources in the Standards and Qualifications section to help you consider which leadership capabilities you developed or are developing via this learning.

Stage 3

5. Write at least 200 words, using the learning log on Step into Leadership to:

  • record your reflections, completing the log in as much detail as possible
  • consider how you might build on this leadership learning to support your career development in the future and record this in the log.

You can also use your learning log reflection in the Open Badge application form or provide a link to your own *blog/portfolio. You may find it helpful to look at Recording Your Learning and Reflecting on Leadership.

*If you want to use a blog or ePortfolio entry as evidence, you might find our guide to preparing and publishing your evidence useful.

Click here to access helpful resources for Thing 23