SPA Forensic Services 2026 Strategy Approved by SPA Board


2 May Public Board Meeting.

At today’s public board meeting, the SPA Board approved the 2026 Forensic Services Strategy, along with a phase 1 business plan and a 2 year financial plan. The strategy provides a clear vision to ensure Forensic Services in Scotland can continue to meet changes in demand and keep abreast of scientific advances has been outlined for consideration by the Board of the SPA.

The 2026 Forensic Services Strategy sets out ambitious plans that will ensure the organisation continues to invest in and retain its unique forensic capabilities. It also details how the organisation will structure itself to ensure its sustainability, maximise capacity and address increasing demands.  The long term strategy promotes a continued commitment to bring great value from the advances of science and the application of new techniques.

The strategy has been developed through engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including our staff, staff associations, Police Scotland, COPFS, HMICS, the Scottish Government and UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) and the Home Office.

The strategy will ensure that Scotland’s unique forensic services provision continues to provide cutting edge technology and further enhancements to the Scottish Justice System.

Tom Nelson, Director of SPA Forensic Services, said:

“Scotland already benefits from a unique crime-scene to court forensic model and the most advanced DNA technology available. The complexities and demands on forensic services are rising with more sophisticated drug compounds and a growth in reporting of serious sexual crimes which bring complex challenges for forensic analysis.

“Policing operates 24 hours a day and must respond quickly to threats and risks that can emerge at bewildering speeds - SPA Forensic Services needs to continue to mirror this response with equal flexibility. The Forensic 2026 Strategy provides the framework to allow this to happen into the future complementing the Policing 2026 Strategy. Forensic science in Scotland will continue to support both Police Scotland and COPFS in our vision of providing Scientific Excellence for Safer Communities.”


Background: The SPA Forensic Services strategy and associated documentation presented to the SPA Board on 2 May 2018 is available to view from the following link: (Item 7)