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On this page we provide advice about making a complaint on the Public Appointments process. This covers new appointments, extensions to existing appointments and reappointments.

1. Background

The Scottish Ministers are committed to making fair, open and merit-based appointment decisions to non-executive positions on the Boards of Scotland’s public bodies. This is secured by actions and decisions taken by:

2. Complaints Procedure

We aim to resolve complaints about the public appointment process quickly, and whenever possible in a simple and straightforward way.  If something has gone wrong, we will try to resolve the problem quickly and implement any improvements that are needed to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

Guidance on our complaints procedure is detailed below:

Stage 1 – Frontline

In the first instance, complaints should be sent to the Appointment Manager at Scottish Government, Public Appointments Team, Area 3F North, Victoria Quay, EH6 6QQ; free-phone 0300 244 1898, or email, who will aim to resolve your complaint informally within five working days.

Stage 2 – Investigation

If a frontline resolution to your issue is not achieved, you may take your complaint to Stage 2 of the process by emailing  An Investigating Officer will be appointed to prepare a comprehensive report and, if things have gone wrong, improvements will be recommended. They will have played no part in the appointment process previously.

Stage 2 deals with two types of complaints: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.

When using Stage 2 we will:

Stage 3 – Refer to the Independent Regulator

After a full investigation, if you are still not satisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you then have the option of asking the public bodies independent regulator to investigate your complaint.

If the public body is regulated you can ask the Ethical Standards Commissioner to investigate the matter for you. The Commissioner is independent of the Scottish Government.

To find out more about the work of the Commissioner please visit or you can contact the Commissioner at:

Ethical Standards Commissioner 
Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace
EH12 5HE
telephone 0300 011 0550 or email

If the public body is not regulated you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to consider your complaint.  The Ombudsman is independent of the Scottish Government. To find out more about the Ombudsman’s work or use the online complaint form, please visit or you can telephone 0800 377 7330.

The regulators cannot normally look at:

Further Information

For more information on Public Appointments complaints handling, please contact the Public Appointments Team on 0300 244 1898 or by email at

Details of regulated and non-regulated bodies can be found in the 'About Public Bodies' section of this website under Directory of Public Bodies.