Corporate Governance

The SPS Framework Document sets out the vision and objectives of SPS and outlines the relationships between Ministers, the Chief Executive of SPS, and the Director General Education, Communities and Justice within the Scottish Government. It describes SPS' financial and wider accountabilities and its approach to staffing and other organisational matters. In short, it sets the broad basis on which SPS will operate.

Chief Executive

SPS is headed by a Chief Executive who is responsible to Scottish Ministers for the management, performance and future development of SPS. Responsibility for all operational matters is delegated to the Chief Executive by the Director General (Education and Justice). The principal duties of the Chief Executive are laid out in the SPS Framework Document.

Executive Directors

SPS operates a 3 directorate model comprising Operations, Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement, and Corporate Services Directorates. Each directorate is headed by an Executive Director. Executive Directors are members of both the SPS Advisory Board and the SPS Executive Management Group.

Non-Executive Directors

Independent Non-Executive Directors are selected and appointed by the Chief Executive in accordance with good practice and recommendations in public appointments. The role of the Non-Executive Directors is to support the Advisory Board in the delivery of its remit.

SPS Advisory Board

SPS has an Advisory Board which is currently chaired by a Non-Executive Member and comprises the Chief Executive, Executive Directors and 5 external Non-Executive Director members (including the Chair). 

Teresa Medhurst
Chief Executive

The Directors of the SPS Management Advisory Board

Allister Purdie Sue Brookes  Caroline Johnston 
Director of Operations (Interim)  Director of Strategy & Stakeholder Engagement(Interim)  Director of Corporate Services (Interim)



Ann McKechin                               Gill Stillie                                  Kay Hampton                     
 Non-Executive Director   Non-Executive Director  Non-Executive Director
Ian Harley  Lynne Clow  Stephen Upton
 Non-Executive Director   Non-Executive Director  Non-Executive Director


The role of the Advisory Board is to undertake a supportive, advisory, questioning and enabling function. It supports the Chief Executive in the discharge of his or her role by providing a safe, challenging forum to bring issues to a well-informed group of Executive and Non-Executive Directors to help him or her reach defensible and well-informed decisions. The remit of the Advisory Board can be accessed here.

In common with all Scottish public bodies, SPS' Board members have a duty regarding conduct, propriety and confidentiality. Our governance arrangements require that Board members declare any registerable interests prior to accepting appointment and that they keep that declaration up to date during the period of their appointment.

View a copy of the current Register of Interests of our Advisory Board here.

SPS Executive Management Group

The Executive Management Group of SPS comprises the Executive Directors from each Directorate and the Chief Executive. Its purpose is to discuss and agree critical operational and corporate matters. The remit of the Executive Management can be accessed here.

The Advisory Board and Executive Management Group have no role in holding the Chief Executive to account. However, if Non-Executive and/or Executive Directors have specific concerns about the manner in which the organisation is being run, or about how their critical challenge role is being taken into account, these should be raised with the Chief Executive in the first instance. If they fail to achieve resolution with the Chief Executive, it is open to them to take them to the Director General (Learning and Justice).

Risk Monitoring and Audit Committee

Each Executive Agency, as a self-accounting entity, has an Audit and Risk Committee. Within SPS, this Committee has the title of Risk Monitoring and Audit Committee (RMAC). It is a sub-committee of the Advisory Board and is chaired by an Independent Member. Other members of the RMAC consist of Non-Executive members of the Advisory Board and, if required to provide the necessary skills or number of members, additional independent individuals are appointed by SPS. The role of the RMAC is to support the Accountable Officer in his or her responsbilities for issues of risk management, control, governance and associated sources of assurance, consistent with the expectations of the Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM) and the Scottish Government's Audit Committee Handbook.

In tandem with guidance published within the SPFM and Scottish Government's 'Approach to Risk Management', the RMAC also has a duty to notify the Learning and Justice Portfolio Audit and Risk Committee if it considers that it has identified a significant problem which may have wider implications.

A Corporate Governance Guide setting out the respective roles and remits within the SPS governance model can be accessed here.

SPS National Partnership Forum

The National Partnership Forum superseded the previous National Whitley Committee arrangements. It consists of a number of Trade Union Side representatives and members of the SPS Executive Management Group and Management Team and will meet every two months (or more frequently if by mutual agreement). Such meetings will be jointly chaired by the Chief Executive and the Trade Union Side Chairperson on a rotational basis. The purpose will be to jointly review the effectiveness of the SPS National Partnership Agreement 'Forward Together' and to jointly discuss the strategic issues affecting the service.

SPS Corporate and Business Planning

Like other Scottish public bodies, SPS operates within the National Performance Framework set by Scottish Ministers. The SPS Corporate and Business Planning process underpins delivery of the Scottish Government's purpose.

SPS Statement on Corporate Planning 20/21


Annual Report and Accounts

The Chief Executive is responsible for producing and publishing Accounts for the Agency and for laying them before the Parliament together with the SPS' Annual Report. The Accounts must be produced in accordance with the accounts direction from Scottish Ministers and the timetable for the production of the Scottish Government's consolidated accounts each year. The Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 stipulates that the Scottish Government's consolidated accounts will be laid before the Scottish Parliament and published after they have been audited and certified by the Auditor General for Scotland.

The Chief Executive is responsible for maintaining a sound system of internal control that supports the achievement of SPS's policies, aims and objectives and for regularly reviewing the effectiveness of that system. Our reports can be accessed here.

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010

The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010. The new duties of the Scottish Government and public bodies under the Act is to publish a range of financial and other information intended to promote openness and transparency across the public sector in Scotland. SPS complies with these duties through publishing this information annually alongside our Annual Report and Accounts. This information can be accessed here