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About Public Bodies

What is a public Body?

A public body is an organisation created by the Scottish Government or  Scottish Parliament which receives all or, or a significant portion of its funding from the Scottish Government.

Public bodies play an important role in the delivery of public services in Scotland, making a significant contribution to the delivery of the Scottish Government's national outcomes and objectives set out in the National Performance Framework.

Public bodies deliver the priorities of Ministers, or the Scottish Parliament, through the promotion, delivery, funding and scrutiny of services, or by providing impartial, expert advice to Ministers, the Parliament, the public and those who deliver public services. They have specialist knowledge and skills to focus on specific issues.

Public bodies normally fall within one of the following classifications:

Executive Agencies: are an integral part of the Scottish Government. They support Ministers in their work, focusing on delivering parts of Government business or providing a specialist function.

Executive Non Departmental Public Bodies: carry out administrative, commerical, executive or regulatory functions on behalf of Government. They are normally esablished by statute. They employ their own staff, who are not civil servants and manage their own budgets. They are accountable to a board whose members are normally appointed. The appointments process is regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Advisory Non Departmental Public Bodies: provide independent expert advice to Ministers and others or input into the policy making process in relation to a particular subject.

Tribunals: are responsible for tasks and advice relating to specialist areas of the law and carry out judicial functions such as determining the rights and obligations of private citizens, although they are not part of the court system.

Public Corporations: are industrial or commercial enterprises under Government control which recover more than 50% of their costs through fees charged for services provided to customers.

National Health Service (NHS) Bodies: provide management, technical or advisory services within the NHS.

Non-Ministerial Departments: headed by a statutory officer holder and operate at arm's length from Government.

Further information for each public body, including the contact details, level of Scottish Government funding, permanent staffing numbers, Chief Executive details can be found in the National Public Bodies Directory.

For all current vacancies, click here. or follow us on twitter @scotpublicappts.

Useful links

While this website focuses on opportunities with public bodies associated with the Scottish Government, there are a variety of other organisations across the UK who require Board members. Click any of the links below for further details.