Regulating Appointments

The Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland regulates appointments to the boards of many of Scotland’s public bodies. The Commissioner and his team regulate the appointment of people to what are sometimes called non-executive positions.

Whilst we regulate the process used to make appointments, it is run by civil servants on behalf of the Scottish Government. The responsibility for making these appointments fairly, openly and based on merit lies with the Scottish Government.

The Commissioner is wholly independent of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

Our website has a list of the bodies that we regulate appointments to.

We regulate these appointments in three main ways:

  • we have produced a Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland. The Scottish Government has to follow the Code when making regulated appointments. The new Code came into force on 1 October 2013.

  • we oversee a selection of appointment processes by assigning a Public Appointments Adviser

  • we also conduct audits and thematic reviews

We regulate in a proportionate and supportive way. We understand that our regulation must contribute to the appointment of the right people to the right roles. In this way we help to make public services even more effective for the people of Scotland.

Our functions are outlined in the Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003

Interested in applying for a public appointment?


For current vacancies go to