Ensuring public appointments are fair and open
We regulate and monitor the system used to appoint board members for many public bodies that play an important part in Scottish life. The Scottish Ministers make these appointments and the selection process is run on their behalf by Scottish Government officials. The Commissioner and their team play a key role in ensuring appointments are made on merit, using methods that are fair and open, and reflect the diversity of Scottish society today.
Right people, right roles
We provide guidance on good practice in recruitment and selection.
It’s intended to help selection panels design appointment rounds that are welcoming and accessible to people from all backgrounds, and that identify the right people for the right roles.
Applying for an appointment
The Scottish Government has a dedicated Public Appointments website for people to find out more, search for vacancies, and apply. The application process will vary from organisation to organisation, but they will all be run in accordance with the Code of Practice developed and monitored by the Ethical Standards Commissioner and their team.
Recent good practice case studiesView all case studies
Reflecting the diversity of Scottish society
The most successful boards are made up of people from all walks of life – with a blend of skills, knowledge, experience, personal qualities and perspectives. To achieve this, all positions on public body boards must be accessible to people from across the communities they serve – regardless of age, gender, disability, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.
As part of their role to promote diversity within public body appointments, the Ethical Standards Commissioner has published Diversity Delivers – a strategy for enhancing equality of opportunity within Scotland’s public appointment process. We help Scottish Government officials implement the recommendations in the strategy, and engage in outreach activity to encourage successful applications from people in under-represented groups.
If you think someone in public office has not behaved properly, you may be able to complain to the Ethical Standards Commissioner. The Commissioner and their team investigate complaints against MSPs, local authority councillors or board members of public bodies when they’ve breached a code of conduct which applies to them. We also look into how people are appointed to the boards of regulated public bodies, and investigate complaints about lobbyists. You can even complain about us – or the Commissioner – if you don’t think we’ve followed proper procedure.