The Chief Executive’s Office


The Chief Executive’s Office is designed to support the delivery of Chief Executive’s business and governance requirements, to increase the transparency and accountability of the organisation to external stakeholders, and to support the continued development of an effective and positive relationship with the Scottish Government.  It is the ambition of SPS to be a fully effective public body that meets the expectations of the Scottish Government and the full characteristics of a best value organisation.  The Chief Executive has overall accountability for the effective leadership and maintenance of professional relationships across Government.  The Chief Executive’s Office is made up of 4 specific functional groups, all of whom report directly to the Chief Executive.  These are:


  • Communications and Branding;
  • Legal Services;
  • Financial Policy and Services; and
  • Digital Services


The Chief Executive establishes the strategic direction of SPS, ensures public accountability, assures probity and integrity, allocates resources and monitors performance, reviews and manages risks facing SPS and develops capability and performance, while ensuring sound corporate governance.


Operations Directorate

Operations Directorate is responsible for line management of public sector prisons, ensuring delivery against KPIs and prison service agreements. In addition, it provides assurance to the SPS Board on the operational readiness of the SPS through trend analysis, thematic audit and targeted action plans.

The Directorate provides instructions, guidance, advice and briefing on operational and security issues to a wide range of internal and external customers and stakeholders. The Directorate also incorporates the National Intelligence Bureau, Prison Industries and SPS Central Stores.

Corporate Services Directorate

Corporate Services consists of 5 key areas - Estates, Information Systems and Strategy (ISS), Procurement, HR and the Scottish Prison Service College (SPSC).


Estates are responsible for the delivery of the Estate Development Programme, a major capital investment initiative to provide an estate fit for purpose for the 21st Century, the maintenance of the prison estate, the SPS Carbon Management Strategy and all land & property issues.


ISS are responsible for supporting and maintaining all elements of the Service's corporate Information Systems infrastructure, contributing effectively to the strategic development of the Service's Information Systems, delivering specialist technical services as required and provision of advice and guidance on all Information Systems matters.


Procurement are responsible for sourcing and obtaining best value for money through the creation and on-going reviews of national and framework contracts.


Human Resources provides services in the areas of employee resourcing, employee relations, welfare, pay and associated matters, and advice on health and safety. To provide this corporate service it develops and maintains appropriate policies; promulgates corporate standards, procedures and systems where appropriate, provides advice, and monitors performance.


SPSC provides appropriate elements of training, supports the development of the organisation and increasingly it accredits local delivery of standard courses.


Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement Directorate

The Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement Directorate is responsible for influencing and shaping wider justice policy, improving strategy making, and creating space for research and innovation which informs the future shape of services for those in our care.  The emphasis is on ensuring intelligent policy and strategy that can be delivered effectively within establishments, which is reviewed and updated by practice on the ground, and through research and benchmarking nationally and internationally.  This ensures SPS makes a more effective contribution to the wider Justice agenda.


The Directorate has built strong and effective relationships with Scottish Government, and stakeholders which influences and informs policy, improving strategies and approaches around the development and delivery of effective services for offenders.