A care home manager has been struck off for forging qualification certificates.
When Alison Grant’s fraud was uncovered, she continued to maintain that she had gained the credentials but had “inadvertently sent the incorrect certificates”.
But according to the Scottish Social Services Council, she knew this was not the case.
The watchdog said Grant’s “serious dishonesty” was “fundamentally incompatible with professional registration”.
The SSSC found her fitness to practise impaired and described her dishonesty at the “most serious end of the scale”.
The watchdog added that her behaviour called into question her “core values”.
Removing her from the sector’s register, the SSSC said: “Service users, their families and employees expect that those in senior positions are qualified and trained to the correct standard.
“While no harm appears to have been caused by your behaviour, there was a risk of harm as you were employed in a position and registered by the SSSC when you did not have the correct qualifications.
“Your actions breached the trust placed in you by the SSSC, your employer and by those you were managing and the service users accessing the service you were managing.
“Your actions call into question your suitability to work in the social care profession.”
Grant was working in the Scottish Borders at the time of her misconduct.
The SSSC reported that Grant submitted doctored Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) certificates while working as a deputy care home manager in April 2017 and April 2020, and while employed as a care home manager in September 2022.
The watchdog claimed Grant – or someone working on her behalf – changed names, dates and levels of qualifications on SVQ leadership and management certificates.
A date change was also made to Grant’s SVQ 3 in health and social care.
The SSSC claimed Grant sought to mislead the watchdog that she was “appropriately qualified and trained” for the position she held.
Grant denied the series of allegations, and instead claimed she submitted the wrong paperwork.
The SSSC said: “You have apologised to the SSSC and explained that these certificates were sent in error.
“However, you have provided no explanation how these certificates were changed and there is therefore no evidence that you have fully understood the gravity of your behaviour.
“Accordingly, you have not shown any meaningful insight and we consider there is an increased risk that the behaviour will be repeated. In terms of public protection, there is a risk to the public if your behaviour was to occur again.
“All things considered, the public would be concerned about you remaining in the sector and the public would expect the SSSC to take action to ensure that the relevant professional standards are being upheld.”
In conclusion, the watchdog said a removal order was the “most appropriate sanction” to maintain the “continuing trust and confidence in the social service profession and the SSSC as the regulator of the profession”.
The removal order came into effect last Thursday.