Board Objectives 2018 - 2020

The Board of the Scottish Police Authority has agreed shared objectives which align with the functions and responsibilities of the Authority, and will be refreshed regularly to adapt to any changes in the context in which the Authority and Police Scotland operate.

The objectives set out below were approved in October 2018 and will cover the period until March 2020, and are grouped into four categories: Strategy, Scrutiny, Support and Communication.


The SPA must promote and support continuous improvement in policing and keep policing under review. To meet these responsibilities, the Board will:

  • keep under review the “Serving a Changing Scotland” and “Scientific Excellence for Safer Communities” ten-year strategies, working with Police Scotland and Forensic Services respectively to refresh them as required;
  • promote best practice, research and debate around the future development of policing.


The SPA is required to hold the Chief Constable to account for the policing of Scotland. The Board will therefore:

  • scrutinise Police Scotland’s performance in delivering the ten-year strategy agreed by the SPA and Police Scotland in 2017, and in delivering annual police plans, using performance measures developed jointly with Police Scotland and other relevant bodies and with due regard to the public interest;
  • scrutinise Police Scotland’s financial performance;
  • maintain a governance system that enables effective oversight of policing, ensures compliance with legal duties and gives due consideration to advice and recommendations from external scrutiny bodies.


The SPA must maintain and support the Police Service and its workforce. To do this it will:

  • work collaboratively with Police Scotland and other partners to achieve the transformation required to deliver the ten-year strategy;
  • apply due diligence to policy and investment proposals submitted by Police Scotland in support of change;
  • oversee Police Scotland’s budgetary management and manage the SPA’s budget in accordance with the requirements of the Scottish Public Finance Manual;
  • ensure that the SPA and Police Scotland workforce is managed and supported to the highest standards of conduct, fairness and respect;
  • provide forensic services to Police Scotland, PIRC, the Lord Advocate and procurators fiscal as required by the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.


The SPA must articulate its role clearly and confidently, building relationships with stakeholders that respect each other’s interests and accountabilities. The Board will therefore:

  • communicate transparently and effectively through a range of channels and forums;
  • ensure that the public and other stakeholders are involved appropriately in the work of the Board and that their interests are understood and respected.

In meeting these objectives, Board Members will adhere to the SPA’s Code of Conduct and follow the principles laid out in the Scottish Government’s “On Board” guidance, including upholding the principles set out in the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000. Members will operate in a non-executive capacity, declare all relevant interests and participate in a Development Programme designed to support them in achieving their corporate and individual objectives and to support a culture of continuous improvement within the SPA.