Welcome to the website of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland

The Commissioner and his team work in two areas:

· Public standards - we investigate complaints about the conduct of MSPs, local authority councillors and members of public bodies

· Public appointments - we monitor how people are appointed to the boards of specified public bodies in Scotland

You can find out more about the Commissioner’s work on the pages of this website.

Read more about the background to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards

Our work on
public standards

The Commissioner is an independent Officeholder who is responsible for investigating complaints about:-

  1. Councillors;
  2. Members of devolved Public Bodies;
  3. Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)

who are alleged to have contravened their relevant Code of Conduct.

More information on public standards can be found here.

Featured Publication

Strategic Plan 2016-20 Consultation Draft

Date Added: 03 Nov 2015

A consultation draft of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards' Strategic Plan for the period April 2016 to March 2020. The strategic plan outlines the Commissioner's key objectives for the four-year period. The Commissioner seeks comments on the draft plan by 15 January 2016.

Our work on
public appointments

The Commissioner regulates the way appointments are made to the boards of Scotland's public bodies. The Commissioner:

  1. publishes a code of practice to be followed when making non-executive appointments to the boards of public bodies
  2. examines the practices used during appointment rounds with a view to ensuring they comply with the code of practice
  3. investigates complaints about the public appointments process
  4. monitors appointments with a view to ensuring they are made fairly and openly and that everyone who may be interested in an appointment has the opportunity to apply.

More information on public appointments can be found here.

Latest News

Consultation on Strategic Plan 2016-20

The Commissioner has published a consultation draft of his strategic plan for the period April 2016 to March 2020. The plan outlines our key objectives for the four-year period.

Read more> Draft Strategic Plan 2016-20


We would welcome your comments on the draft and our objectives and would be happy to discuss any issues of interest to you.


Please send your comments to Karen Elder at k.elder@ethicalstandards.org.uk or at our main address by 15 January 2016.


If you would like to discuss the plan, please call Karen on 0131 347 3898 to make arrangements.

Read more> Strategic Plan 2012-16