SPA Key Facts

  • Established in 2013 as national organisation to support, oversee and hold Police Scotland to account.
  • Responsible for a workforce of more than 22,000 police officers and staff – 2nd largest police service in the UK with an annual budget of more than £1.2 billion.
  • Primary function is to maintain, review and hold Police Scotland to account whilst promoting the key purpose of policing in Scotland – to improve the safety and wellbeing of people, places and communities.
  • Responsible as employer of police workforce with duty to recruit senior officers (ACC and above) and assess complaint and conduct issues related to senior officers.
  • SPA governed by a Board of up to 15 non-executive public appointees, selected by Scottish Ministers.
  • Board members have a range of professional backgrounds and experiences and are remunerated for up to five days of time commitment each month with greater commitment from the Chair.
  • SPA Board is supported by an Executive team which consists currently of approximately 40 staff.
  • SPA has embarked on a programme of organisational improvement and restructuring to strengthen the organisation’s capacity and capability.
  • SPA Chief Executive is the principal adviser to the Board and also the Accountable Officer to Parliament for a £1.1 billion police budget.
  • SPA also responsible for Scotland’s 450-strong crime scene to court forensic service and for maintaining 150-strong network of volunteer independent custody visitors.