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Welcome to the public appointments website

These pages cover our work on public appointments.


Every one of us living in Scotland benefits from the essential services provided by our public bodies. Health, education, the environment, the economy... public bodies play an important role in every part of Scottish life.

And their boards play a vital role in guiding and shaping their future.

Our job is to help ensure that the people who serve on these boards are appointed on merit, using methods that are fair and open.


Read more about how we regulate public appointments >



Featured Publication

2016 Applicant Research

Following the last annual applicant research in 2015, we discussed and agreed with the Scottish Government a different method of obtaining applicant views. Since May 2016 we have been gathering the views of applicants on a round by round basis, rather than annually. This report provides an annual summary of the views expressed in the individual round reports and also reports on the learning that has taken place by understanding applicant views under this round by round approach. We are grateful to those who provided time and effort giving invaluable feedback which formed the basis of the findings.


Annual Report for 2015/16 Published

The Commissioner has today laid with the Scottish Parliament his annual report and accounts for 2015/16. In respect of public appointments, there have been successes in relation to gender and BME representation on the boards of Scotland's public bodies. The target for applications from women, as set out in Diversity Delivers, has been exceeded for the first time.

The Commissioner has made recommendations in respect of other currently underrepresented groups and will work with the Scottish Government on appropriate activities in the year ahead with a view to the boards of public bodies being both effective and reflective of society.

Read the Annual Report>

Read Diversity Delivers>


Revised Guidance on the 2013 Code of Practice

The Commissioner has updated the guidance on application of the 2013 Code of Practice. It includes a number of  changes intended to enhance the operation of the public appointments process.

Read the code >

Read the guidance >


Good Practice More Widely Adopted

The Scottish Government, with the full support of the Commissioner, has been trialling new methods to attract, assess and appoint board members. We have posted a number of examples of good practice in attraction and assessment to our website to give selection panels, public bodies and applicants information on the new approaches being taken.


Office move

The Commissioner and his team have moved offices. Our new address and phone numbers are available on the contact us page.

2013 Code of Practice

The Commissioner has published a revised Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland. The revised Code is available to download from our website as is the guidance published to accompany it. The Code and guidance came into force from 1 October 2013.

Read the code >

Read the guidance >


Name change for the Commission for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland

From 1 July 2013, the Commission becomes the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Recent legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament transfers the functions of the

1. Commission for Ethical Standards,

2. Public Standards Commissioner for Scotland and

3. Public Appointments Commissioner for Scotland

to a single Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Read more about our work on public appointments >

Read more about our work on public standards >

Our contact details and personnel remain the same.

Contact us >

Find out more about the legislative changes >


Keen to apply for a public appointment?

To find out about current vacancies go to