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January 8 2020

Support worker banned after making up qualifications

A would-be support worker has been banned after her web of lies was uncovered to try and land a job working with children in Moray.

Lisa McDonald attempted to secure a job with national charity Action for Children in Lossiemouth with a fake reference, a forged signature and manufactured qualification certificates in October 2018.

The deceit was followed up just months later in January 2019 when she tried to secure a post as a support practitioner with Inverness-based Richmond Trust Fellowship with more lies on her CV.

Yesterday the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) took the decision to ban Mrs McDonald from jobs in the sector to ensure trust in the profession can be maintained.

Warnings were issued by the body that there could have been “severe consequences” if she had landed either post with service users potentially being put at “risk of harm” due to her lack of skills to do the job to the required standards.

The decision notice states: “Both allegations show you have been dishonest and the people who use services rely on a worker being trustworthy. Such behaviour represents a significant values issue.”

The SSSC panel decided there was sufficient evidence that Mrs McDonald, who accepted the facts against her, provided a false e-mail address for her former college tutor, who she had named as a reference when applying for the job as an early years practitioner for Action for Children.

It was also concluded that a false character reference in the name of the same college tutor with a forged signature had also been submitted with fake SQA certificates showing she had two qualifications in childhood practice.

The application for a job with the Richmond Trust Fellowship also included a false claim of a HNC childhood practice qualification, which was not required for the position but was deemed to be a sign that she may try again for another post in the sector.

The SSSC decision report states: “Both incidents occurred when you were in the process of applying for a job within the social services sector. This behaviour is sufficiently serious and would affect the reputation of the profession.

“There are two allegations of similar nature. Although the second wasn’t carried out to the same extent as the first allegation, you still applied for a job and uploaded your C.V. to state you held a HNC, which you do not.

“The consequences of your behaviour are severe. If you had not been discovered, you could have been working in a position that you were not qualified to hold.”