ARC Scotland Training is committed to improving practice and people’s lives by making real changes to the delivery of services, how people with support needs are valued and included in society and communities, and to the quality of the social care workforce.
We are committed in advancing knowledge, policy and practice in health and social care.
Meet some of our dedicated assessors who support practitioners through the regulated qualifications within Scotland. All assessors have a wealth of knowledge and experience within the social care sector and cover all local authority areas within Scotland.
Please take the opportunity to review our teams biographies and single page profiles.
Derek Parker - Training Manager
I joined ARC Scotland in 2010 to support the development of the workforce in achieving appropriate regulated qualifications to enhance competence and confidence of those delivering support.
I have worked in the Social Care Sector since 1986 and has a wealth of experience of supporting people within the voluntary, statutory, health and private sector.
I am passionate about the work of ARC Scotland which underpins the principles of supporting individuals to have a say in all decisions that affect their lives and advancing knowledge, policy and practice in health and social care.
I joined ARC Scotland in May 2020 as Deputy Training Manager. I started my journey in Health and Social Care in 1991 working for ELCAP, while there I worked in most areas within Health and Social Care, managing adult services, children’s services and visiting support. In 2004 I moved to run a small charity in Edinburgh supporting adults with tailored 1:1 services enabling them to be active participants in their communities. In 2009 I moved abroad and worked in the Philippines supporting children and adults on the Tondo dumpsites, I also worked in the prisons supporting British nationals. In 2011, I ventured to Nigeria, where my focus was on working in an orphanage and supporting staff to develop an understanding of child centred practice. I returned to Scotland in 2012 but still spend a lot of time in South East Asia. It was on my return to Scotland that I started my work with ARC, I enjoyed working freelance for ARC as this still allowed me to travel when needed. I have now started in my new role as deputy training manager and look forward to continuing my work for ARC and to the opportunities this will bring.
After leaving College I began my working life in the Civil Service in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries at St Andrews House in Edinburgh as an audio typist and then carrying out secretarial duties. I remained there for 9 years before leaving to have a family. After a few years break I took up the post of office administrator with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office based in the centre of Edinburgh. 20 years later the office was closed and we were made redundant. After a short break I returned to work on a part time basis with ARC Scotland, my first job in the health and social care sector, to administer a European Social Funded training project. On completion of this project I remained with ARC Scotland on a full time basis. I have now been with them for 16 years as Administration Manager for the training arm of ARC Scotland ensuring the office runs smoothly and efficiently in the delivery of SVQ awards to organisations throughout Scotland and giving support to our ever increasing number of Assessors/Verifiers working with us.
I began my career at the Church of Scotland, Board of Social Responsibility and worked there for 10 years. After progressing my career within the Church of Scotland I then moved to further my career with Midlothian Council and thereafter Crown Castle International where I became a Site Share Executive. I remained in this position for 3 years before leaving to have a family. After a break I returned to work part time with Jo Jingles as a music/dance teacher organising classes throughout Midlothian. Alongside this I also worked at Dobbies Garden Centre as a Cash Office Assistant and later moving to a Team Leader role on a full time basis within the Customer Service Department at Head Office. I joined the ARC Scotland Team as a Training Administrator to support the Administration and Training Managers in all aspects of ARC Scotland’s training activities. I am privileged to work for ARC Scotland and be part of a Team who can make a difference to improve the quality of life for people who have a learning disability, or other support needs by assisting those who deliver the support.
I joined ARC Scotland as a Freelance Assessor/Trainer.
I have worked in social care and social services since 1989 in a variety of roles supporting people across the social care spectrum: Homelessness and Addictions, Mental Health, Older People Services, Asylum Seekers, Learning Disabled/Difficulties, Housing Support & Short Breaks.
Roles: Housing Support Worker, Project Worker, Senior Project Worker, Project Manager, Learning & Development Manager.
ARC provided services to TMF when I was the L&D Manager and was impressed with courses. Always found ARC to be a good, friendly and thorough organisation to work with.
I joined ARC Scotland as an SVQ Assessor and Internal Verifier for Social Services & Healthcare Level 2, 3 & 4 and Social Services (Children & Young People) Level 2, 3 & 4.
Throughout my career in the social services sector, I have held management positions in residential school settings, adult care settings and childcare settings. Throughout this time, I have assessed and verified SVQ’s within the care provider organisation, as a full time SVQ Assessor and Internal Verifier with a training provider and as a Freelance SVQ Assessor and Internal Verifier.
My career goal was always to raise the standards of care and support being delivered and, through my experiences, have concluded that, for me, the best way to do this is through training. I work for ARC Scotland because they have a wide-ranging portfolio of training they can deliver to support learning and development in the social care sector. ARC Scotland also have excellent reports from SQA on the delivery of training, knowing a training provider is reputable and has experienced, qualified staff is for me, for candidates and their organisations, the most important factor in reassurance that the delivery of the SVQ is of quality.
I joined ARC Scotland as a Freelance Assessor and Verifier 15 years ago.
I assess and verify the Social Service and Health Care Awards at SCQF level 6, 7, 9 and 10.
I also assess the Assessor Award L&D9 qualification.
I have been involved in the delivery of SVQs since the very early days and have seen them evolve over the past 20 + years.
Before working in learning and development I worked in local authority adult services and was a registered Manager. I am a qualified social worker and I hold the Professional Development Award in Practice Learning.
I enjoy working for ARC Scotland because I get the opportunity to work with candidates in a wide range of roles and services. Although I work on a freelance basis there is always support available to me from the assessment centre.
I joined ARC Scotland, following early retirement in Jan 2020 as a Freelance Assessor/Verifier, supporting the range of Health & Social Care SVQ/CSLM awards.
I first began assessing candidates in 2006 when I was asked by my employer to support staff through their SVQ awards. At the time I was also completing my own SVQ L4, Managers & Assessors award via ARC. It was hard work whilst running the day to day activities of a young persons homeless service. On successful completion of the awards my Manager asked me to join the Organisations Learning & Development Team. I subsequently moved on to work with 2 x Local Authorities both designing & delivering training & supporting staff in different services e.g. adult care, learning disabilities, mental health, care in the community & criminal justice to successfully complete their awards.
Working freelance gives me the freedom to balance life & still take on work I enjoy. Over the years I have gained many skills in different roles e.g. Counsellor, Support Worker, Manager, Trainer, Tai Chi Instructor, Sound Therapist & more. People (staff and those who use services) their future & wellbeing are important to me and I work with ARC because ARC shares those same values.
I joined ARC Scotland, as a freelance SVQ assessor 3 years ago.
I have worked in the Health & Social Care sector for approximately 30 years mainly in the voluntary sector in Edinburgh. Throughout those thirty years I worked in care homes before spending the majority of my career working in the community supporting people living in their own home as a support worker, senior support worker before going into management of services.
I started to work for ARC as I was impressed by the professionalism of the staff I met and their commitment to high quality in delivery of their training; I also believe that ARCs vision of involving people who receive support from social care agencies in everything they do fits with my own beliefs and values of wanting people to be at the centre of their support and involved as much as possible in decision making and being involved in shaping the support they receive.
I joined ARC Scotland as a Freelance Assessor and Verifier for all Care Awards and CSLM Level 10 qualification.
I have been involved with SVQ Qualifications since the qualifications initially came out in 1992 when I worked for Strathclyde Regional Council.
My previous work as a practitioner was with children and young people with complex needs, residential work in elderly care and then working in residential children’s homes. I also did voluntary work for the Adult Basic Education service within West Dumbartonshire.
In 1993 I took up the post of full time Assessor and worked throughout Glasgow, West Dumbartonshire and Argyll and Bute. I then went onto complete the Internal Verifier Qualification. When Strathclyde Regional Council dispersed into local councils, I moved back to my own local authority and continued my role of Assessor and Internal Verifier with Lomond Assessment Centre until 2006 when the Assessment Centre closed as a result of restructuring. I took my redundancy after 25 years with the local authority, I moved into the 3rd sector organisations, where I continued as Assessor and Internal Verifier and also delivered training within the organisation as part of my work role.
As the pace of life in the work place was becoming more and more demanding and from becoming a grandmother I decided it was time that I took life at a slightly slower pace in order to spend time with my wee granddaughter. I decided to apply to ARC as a Freelance Assessor and Verifier as I was aware of ARCs good reputation with delivering SVQ Qualifications, training and as an organisation ARC maintain high standards. I have worked for ARC for two and a half years now and I continue to enjoy my work and the people I work for.
I joined ARC Scotland as a freelance Assessor/Verifier supporting candidates to achieve all levels of Care Awards and also CSLM Level 10.
I began my working life in Royal Edinburgh Hospital working night shift since my children were young.
Since then I have worked in the Social Care Sector within various Health and Private Sectors.
Having most recently managed a service for Enable Scotland for twenty years supporting ladies who had various degrees of Physical and Learning Disabilities. During this time I undertook my assessor award and at the same time developed and supported my staff team to achieve their required SVQ Awards.
I joined ARC Scotland in 2006 as a freelance assessor and in 2008 undertook verifier award. I am very passionate about SVQ’s to the extent that I would say that I look upon it as one of my hobbies.
I have never regretted joining ARC and I continue to enjoy supporting candidates to achieve their chosen awards with very positive outcomes.
I regard myself as being honest and reliable and very patient and approachable which is necessary when supporting candidates from various different ethnic backgrounds to achieve their chosen awards.
I am married and have three sons and a daughter and two grandchildren with whom I really enjoy spending quality time.
I am an avid reader and I also enjoy travelling abroad each year to spend time with my extended family.
Graeme Taylor - Freelance Assessor/Verifier & Trainer
I joined ARC Scotland as a Freelance Assessor/Verifier and Trainer.
I have worked in a variety of settings in health and social care for over 34 years, working with children in Edinburgh in schools with children with particular needs, I managed adult residential and visiting support services providing care and support to people with learning disabilities and with people who had mental ill-health.
I managed services for Ark Housing Association, The Action Group, and later spent five years with ELCAP, during this time I also became the joint lead IV.
I worked with Scottish Borders Council Social Work training department for 9 years delivering training to staff in all areas of the department and as an Assessor and Internal Verifier for candidates undertaking their SVQ in Health and Social Care.
I have been delivering training for ARC Scotland for the last 8 years and also as an Assessor and I.V.
I joined ARC Scotland as an Assessor/Internal Verifier.
After graduating with a degree in Linguistics, Stanislaw’s 15 years of experience in voluntary care sector included practitioner and manager roles in organisations such as L’Arche and Quarriers. He managed established care home services as well as development of new supported living projects for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. More recently he managed transitions from hospital care to community-based support.
Stanislaw is passionate about supporting individuals to achieve their potential. His experience as a manager as well as an assessor and verifier allowed him to use this passion in various teams he worked with. He joined ARC Scotland in 2016, attracted by the organisation’s values and an impressive track record of supporting voluntary sector’s improvement and education. He supports candidates and organisations as an assessor and an internal verifier.
Julie Ritchie - Development Worker/Freelance Assessor
Julie joined ARC Scotland in September 2015. As a part-time development worker she facilitates three Provider Forums in Aberdeenshire, Moray and Highland. Julie also supports two self advocate groups in Aberdeenshire – the Aberdeenshire Involvement Network and Aa’body Matters. Amongst other things, these groups are working with the Police to help launch the Keep Safe Scheme in Aberdeenshire.
Julie graduated from Aberdeen University with a Psychology Honours degree in 2003. She then began her career in the voluntary sector as a support worker for Sense Scotland. Julie quickly progressed to team leader and in 2009 became locality manager for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. In Julie’s managerial role she still ensured she did regular support shifts with service usersas this was where she started her career and making a difference to people’s lives will always be close to her heart. Julie still does relief shifts to sustain her working relationship with service users and carry on her practice-based experience.
During her work at Sense Scotland Julie completed her Level 4 SVQ in Health and Social Care and Leadership and Management in Care qualifications. Julie is also an SVQ assessor and can communicate to a basic level in British Sign Language.
I previously was a Learning and Development Officer based within a Local Authority for 11 years and I have supported and appropriately guided Home Support Workers and Managers with their SVQ Level 2 and Level 3 Awards respectively. I have delivered Home Support Workers Induction Courses to new workers.
I enjoy working for ARC Scotland, everyone I work with is very helpful and very supportive and I enjoy working from home and choosing my own hours. I have high standards and it’s important to me, individuals who receive a support service, receive a quality support service.
I joined ARC Scotland as an Assessor/Internal Verifier.
I have worked in the Social Care Sector since 1991 both as a Manager and Practitioner in both voluntary and statutory sectors providing guidance and support to children and family services, youth justice and residential care.
Over the years I have gained vital experience within the social care sector, building knowledge and skills thus transitioning into an experienced trainer. I have recently joined the ARC team as an Assessor/ Internal verifier.