About Us

The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 created the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and set out its five core functions:

  • to maintain the Police Service;
  • to promote the policing principles set out in the 2012 Act;
  • to promote and support continuous improvement in the policing of Scotland;
  • to keep under review the policing of Scotland; and
  • to hold the Chief Constable to account for the policing of Scotland. 

These five functions demonstrate the dual, integrated responsibilities of the SPA: its oversight role in scrutinising policing in Scotland and holding the Chief Constable to account; and its supportive role in maintaining and improving the Police Service. The SPA is also responsible for the management and delivery of Forensic Services in Scotland.   

SPA's Corporate and Annual Business Plans

For more information about the outcomes the Authority seeks to achieve and the high level activities designed to achieve them please see the SPA's Corporate Plan for 2020-2023. The Corporate Plan has also been underpinned by an Annual Business Plan for 2020-2021 which sets out the Authority's activities for the year ahead and how they will be measured. 

The SPA aims to increase public trust and confidence in the policing of Scotland in the way it carries out its business and through the quality of its governance arrangements.  The SPA’s Governance Framework sets out the values which we aim to follow in the public interest:

  • fairness - acting in an independent way with integrity and free from bias, real or perceived;
  • openness – acting in an open and transparent way, promoting and sharing good practice;
  • accountability – being fully accountable for decisions it makes, the performance of its functions and how it uses public funds.