Thing 21: What does good leadership look like in Scotland’s social services?


In Thing 21 you will explore what contributes to good leadership in Scotland’s social services; what supports it; what hinders it; how developing good leadership can lead to improved outcomes for people and how we can know when we experience good leadership.

Open Badge Information

Open Badge: SSSC 23 Things Leadership – Thing 21: What does good leadership look like?

Counts towards: SSSC 23 Things Leadership – Evaluation of impact


You may find it helpful to complete Things 1-4 before starting Thing 21.

What does good leadership in Scotland’s Social Services look and feel like for those who work in them and those served by them? The Enabling Leadership research commissioned by the SSSC in 2016 focussed on this and provides an overview of relevant leadership theory, a discussion about good leadership, information on contribution analysis and the core methodology used, a theory of change and the leadership logic model  (a useful framework for considering the quality of leadership in your service or team and how this can make a difference to the people you work with).

The importance of good leadership is reinforced by the section on ‘How good is our leadership’ in the Care Inspectorate’s A quality framework for care homes for older people. This provides four quality indicators you can use to measure leadership quality in your team/organisation. The indicators are largely transferable for application to broader social services provision.


Read the Enabling Leadership research report. Consider the leadership logic model in more detail and reflect on the three outcomes of good leadership.

Read the Care Inspectorate’s A quality framework for care homes for older people and in particular the section ‘How good is our leadership?’

With a co-worker, your manager, or a group of colleagues, firstly reflect specifically on the enablers of, and risks or barriers to, good leadership from the leadership logic model. Which of these exist in your service and what is being done, or could be done, to strengthen the enablers or to mitigate the risks or barriers?

Secondly, consider and discuss how your ideas would support you to evidence the four ‘How good is your leadership?’ quality indicators.

Thirdly, identify any action that you or others in your service could take in this regard and discuss with your manager if there is merit in taking these forward. Action accordingly.

Write at least 400 words, reflecting on these activities, including:

  • The enablers and risks or barriers affecting good leadership in your service
  • What can be done to strengthen the enablers and mitigate the risks or barriers
  • Actions relating to this that could be taken to help you evidence the quality indicators set out in the ‘How good is your leadership?’ section of the Care Inspectorate’s report
  • Examples of how these actions would make a difference to people experiencing your service.

You can provide the statement on 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 21

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