Information pack for appointment to sportscotland

The Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport is seeking to appoint a Chair to sportscotland. The Minister values highly the benefits of having different points of view on the board and welcomes applications from people from all walks of life.

The appointments process for this board vacancy follows the Code of Practice for Public Appointments and is regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.


Key dates for this appointment round 

Closing date: Monday 4 March at 5pm.
Shortlist of applications: 14 March 2024
Date applicants will hear about the outcome of their application: By 15 March 2024
Interviews: 4 April 2024. Interviews will be held in person in St Andrews House, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG. It is unlikely that we will be able to offer an alternative interview date.
Ministerial decision: w/c 6 May 2024
Start date: 1 June 2024

Welcome from Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport

Dear Applicant

Do you have a passion for sport? Do you have the skills in leading a Board to deliver positive change to communities across Scotland? Can you bring ideas, insights and perspectives in delivering change both in elite sport and across the wider sporting sector? If this sounds like you, then sportscotland is looking for a new Chair.

As Chair, you will play a key role in driving forward the delivery of the existing strategy, Sport For Life as well as working with the Scottish Government to get Scotland more active, more often.  Sport for Life sets out a bold vision and actions to encourage everyone to take part in sport or physical activity, no matter what level they choose be that competition or just for fun.

As Chair, you will help drive delivery of sportscotland’s objectives, work with committed colleagues and stakeholders to find solutions to complex challenges and listen to communities and stakeholders from across society to ensure their voices are heard and that barriers preventing physical activity are minimised in order to create inclusivity across the sporting sector. Sport and physical activity can play a pivotal role in delivering wider benefits across society, including physical and mental health, a sense of belonging and community cohesion. As Chair you would need to recognise and harness these benefits to deliver across a number of governmental outcomes.

If this opportunity excites you, I would be delighted to hear from you.  I would welcome applications from a wide cross-section of society.


Maree Todd MSP

Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport


Information about the role

Remuneration: £254.84 per day
Time commitment: Expected to work up to 78 days per year.
Length of appointment term: Up to four years.

Location of meetings

Meetings are generally held at the sportscotland National Centre: Inverclyde in Largs. There are occasions when the Board will meet at other locations around Scotland.

The format of the meetings is a strategic discussion held the night before the Board meeting.  Overnight accommodation is provided.

Dates for the board meetings this year are as follows: The main board meetings take place on the Tuesdays.  The strategic discussion takes place on the Monday evening.

  • Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 June 2024
  • Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 August 2024
  • Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 October 2024
  • Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 December 2024


A member of the Scottish Parliament cannot also hold a public appointment for public bodies listed in the schedule of the Scottish Parliament (Disqualification) Order 2020.

Former ministers and senior crown servants (director general level and above) should seek advice from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) before applying for this role.

About sportscotland

Vision for sport in Scotland

sportscotland is the national agency for sport in Scotland. Our vision is for an active Scotland where everyone benefits from sport.

That means we will all find ways to be physically active most days. Using a more active approach to getting around, keeping active at home and work or choosing to be active as part of our leisure time.

It also means more of us will be taking part in sport. Sport will be more relevant to our lives. We will take part in ways that suit us. We will experience fewer barriers to taking part. We will feel more included in sport.

Overall, it will feel like sport fits better into our lives. As a result, we will all experience more of the benefits of sport. Either first-hand by taking part or through our communities and our nation as a whole.

Sport For Life

sportscotland’s role is to make sure sport plays its part in a thriving Scotland. We are funded by Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

As a public body, we report through Scottish Ministers to the Scottish Parliament. We contribute to the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, as set out in our strategic guidance letter.

We are proud of the role sport plays in Scotland’s success.

Our mission is getting the most from the sporting system for the people of Scotland. We do this by influencing, informing and investing in the organisations and people who deliver sport and physical activity across the whole of Scotland. For more information on what we deliver please read our annual review - Sport For Life 2023.

A sporting system for everyone

We have designed a sporting system that makes the best use of Scotland’s sporting assets and which adapts as needed to change in the world around sport. It exists so the people of Scotland can take part in sport at the level they choose.

Structure and facilities

sportscotland employs around 350 staff across three directorates: sports development, high performance and corporate services, and at its two national centres; Inverclyde and Glenmore Lodge. We have offices across Scotland including our headquarters in Glasgow, the sportscotland institute of sport, based on the University of Stirling campus, and regional offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

The regional offices accommodate our staff and those employed by Scottish sports governing bodies, which help facilitate close partnership working.

The national centres are overseen by the sportscotland Trust Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of sportscotland, which has a separate Board. The national centres – Glenmore Lodge and Inverclyde – provide unique facilities and services, offering opportunities to participate and progress in sport, as well as contribute to and at times lead innovation for particular sports.

Core functions

sportscotland provides a range of services. These include:

  • providing sports expertise to the Scottish Government to support policy development and delivery
  • leading, supporting and coordinating the key deliverers of sport, including: local authorities, leisure trusts and Scottish governing bodies of sport; and, strengthening and extending the relationships and interactions across the sporting system
  • investing National Lottery and Scottish Government funding
  • adding value to Scottish sport on the back of major events and our partners’ investments
  • delivering high-quality performance programmes and providing expert support services to Scottish athletes to help them compete on the world stage through the sportscotland institute of sport
  • offering high-quality courses and training opportunities for a wide range of sports participants and people working in sport
  • collaborating with UK and international sporting bodies and systems to ensure Scotland’s ambitions for sport are well represented and well-integrated at UK and international levels
  • raising awareness and understanding, and promoting the contribution of sport to wider social and economic outcomes

The role of the Board Chair

The Board the Chair of sportscotland is responsible for:


  • championing the organisation’s overall vision, mission, strategic direction and the sectors it represents in a fast-moving environment
  • ensuring the organisation contributes to the Active Scotland Outcomes Framework, by working with and bringing together key organisations in Scottish sport and collaborating with organisations in the wider public sector
  • continuing to build on the legacy of the London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 Games
  • providing strategic leadership to the Board, including chairing its meetings
  • ensuring that the Board, in reaching decisions, takes proper account of its statutory functions and the policy and resource framework agreed with Scottish Ministers
  • being accountable to Scottish Ministers for ensuring that operations and policies of sportscotland support the Scottish Government’s strategic priorities; that the body delivers against objectives agreed with Ministers; and that its affairs are conducted with probity 
  • having oversight of the achievement of outcomes in the corporate strategy, Sport for Life, in conjunction with the sportscotland Chief Executive
  • ensuring effective corporate governance and that the principles of public life and public accountability are followed
  • leading the organisation in line with its values and having a commitment to equality of opportunity and to developing and promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion across the work of the organisation, as well as its collaborations with stakeholders and partners.

Collaboration and Influence

  • chairing Board meetings which include facilitating constructive discussion, managing conflict, and negotiating compromise when required
  • representing sportscotland publicly in an ambassadorial role, both nationally and internationally
  • representing sportscotland as a member of the UK Sport board
  • communicating the vision and representing the views of sportscotland to government, the Parliament, the media, the private sector and other stakeholders
  • influencing and engaging with diverse audiences and key stakeholders in the political, cultural, public, private, third and other relevant sectors


  • developing a relationship with the Chief Executive based on appropriate support and challenge including by acting as line manager to the Chief Executive, setting the objectives and conducting the appraisal of the Chief Executive on an annual basis
  • ensuring that all new members of the Board are fully briefed on the terms of their appointment and on their duties, rights and responsibilities, and that they receive appropriate induction training
  • conducting appraisals of the performance of individual Board members on an annual basis to meet the requirements of Scottish Ministers
  • advising Scottish Ministers of the needs of sportscotland when Board member vacancies arise, with a view to ensuring a proper balance of relevant skills and knowledge.

Investment and expenditure

  • supporting the case for investment across sports in a public and private sector context and ensuring that investment has the widest possible impact and secures the greatest possible value for money
  • advising on resource allocation to address the needs of sport both nationally and locally, being accountable for how resources are deployed to meet sportscotland’s strategic objectives.

In addition, you will:

  • maintain a focus on strategy, performance and governance: it is not the role of the Chair and non-executive Board members to have a detailed involvement in the day-to-day management of the organisation
  • actively participate in collective decision making, and chair, or participate in, where required, one or more of the committees of the Board
  • act on the principle of collective responsibility for decisions of the Board.

The selection panel

Chair: Richard Foggo, Co-Director for Population Health, Scottish Government.
Independent panel member: Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair, UK Sport.
Representative from the Ethical Standards Commissioner: Bill Smith, Public Appointments Adviser.

Please note that applicants will be asked to declare if they know any members of the selection panel. The panel will also declare if they know any applicants. Any actual or perceived conflicts of interest will be managed in line with the Ethical Standards Commissioners Code of Practice for Public Appointments.

Person specification

We are looking for a new Chair who can put their experience to good use on the board. The table below sets out the skills, knowledge, experience and attributes that we are seeking, and explains how the criteria will be tested. You may have gained your experience through work, by being active in your community, in a voluntary capacity or through your own lived experience.


Passion for sport and awareness of how sport is structured in the UK, and in particular how it promotes equality and social change

Example indicators

  • demonstrates passion and enthusiasm for sport and is able to inspire others and gain respect
  • has a clear commitment to tackling inequality and of the powerful role that sport can play to deliver change
  • has a deep understanding of the opportunities and barriers of inclusivity and diversity in sport
  • has an awareness of how sport is structured in the UK.

How this will be assessed

  • In the written application (300 words and one A4 page career/life history) we will want you to tell us about how you meet this criterion.
  • We will have a discussion with you about this during the interview.
  • We will also provide you with an exercise in advance and ask you to prepare a verbal response.

Can build excellent relationships and has the capacity to work effectively across sectors, beyond the boundaries of sport

Example indicators

  • is constantly alert to developments which may be relevant to or affect the organisation/board and its ability to meet its objectives and reviews the implications from a strategic perspective
  • understands the wider strategic environment (political, financial, etc.) and takes account of this when making decisions
  • has credible experience of building strong relationships, for example, with partner organisations, stakeholders or individuals to deliver objectives
  • has an ability to influence relationships and outcomes with partners and stakeholders
  • is able to effectively represent/promote the organisation to a wide range of stakeholders, including politicians and the media – being an ambassador.

How this will be assessed

  • In the written application (300 words and one A4 page career/life history) we will want you to tell us about how you meet this criterion.
  • We will have a discussion with you about this during the interview.

Excellent leadership and governance for the Board and organisation

Example indicators

  • has experience of providing strategic leadership and setting direction
  • has experience of ensuring effective governance and able to articulate what board responsibilities are from a fiscal and legal perspective
  • has a commitment to observing and upholding the principles of public life
  •  has an ability to harness diversity of thought from all board members, creating a positive culture
  • has a clear understanding of the purpose/role of Sport Scotland and the Board
  • can provide evidence of success in enabling a group to work collaboratively  and to reach compromise and consensus
  • is able to demonstrate where you have successfully influenced others to a different perspective, and where others have successfully influenced you
  • is comfortable in making reasoned judgements where extensive evidence might not be available.

How this will be assessed

  • In the written application (300 words and one A4 page career/life history) we will want you to tell us about how you meet this criterion.
  • We will have a discussion with you about this during the interview.

Realism, resilience, and accountability in facing challenges but with agility and creativity in generating solutions and opportunities

Example indicators

  • has experience of operating and adapting in a changing environment with agility
  • has an ability to have difficult conversations and make difficult decisions
  • can demonstrate self-awareness and can take steps to maintain personal resilience and the wider resilience of the board and organisation
  • has an ability to think creatively and critically to help find realistic solutions to difficult issues.

How this will be assessed

  • In the written application (300 words and one A4 page career/life history) we will want you to tell us about how you meet this criterion.
  • We will have a discussion with you about this during the interview.

The assessment process.

The assessment process will happen as follows:

  1. The selection panel will assess all application forms against the criteria for appointment (see the person specification). Those who demonstrate evidence that most closely meet the criteria tested at this stage will be shortlisted for interview. Applications will be anonymised.
  2. The selection panel will interview candidates, the questions they ask will relate directly to the criteria for appointment. Candidates will be provided with an exercise in advance of the interview and asked to deliver a short verbal response to the panel.
  3. The selection panel will also ask questions relevant to the fit and proper person test (see below) which will include questions about the Principles of Public Life.
  4. The selection panel will review the evidence provided and agree on which candidates have most closely met the criteria for selection and as such should be recommended to the appointing Minister as ‘most able’.
  5. The appointing Minister will make a decision about whom to appoint based on evidence from the selection panel. The appointing Minister may request to meet with candidates before making a final decision.
  6. Appointees will be asked to complete pre-appointment checks which will include a Disclosure Check (there is no charge for this). Appointment is conditional on satisfactory completion of these.

Guaranteed interviews

Disabled applicants may opt to be considered for a guaranteed interview; this means that where, at the application stage, the applicant meets the minimum criteria for the role, they will be invited to interview. The selection panel will not know if an applicant has requested a guaranteed interview until the panel has completed the shortlist.

Fit and proper person checks

In the context of public appointments, a fit and proper person is someone who is suitable because they meet the requirements of the role, and their past or present activities and behaviour means they are suitable. Tests are built into different stages of the appointment process to ensure that:

  • conduct to date has been compatible with the public appointment
  • membership is not barred by the body's constitution e.g., criminal record or bankruptcy (see disqualifications)
  • there are no unmanageable conflicts of interest
  • political activity is declared
  • there is agreement to abide by the Principles of Public life in Scotland. Please see the link above
  • there is confirmation that the time commitment required for the role can be met. 

Social media checks for candidates invited to interview

The selection panel may consider publicly available information about candidates which is posted by candidates on social media. Any findings that the selection panel agree are pertinent to the role or that may call into question suitability for the appointment, credibility of the appointments process or the public body will be discussed with candidates at interview. Consideration of any issues will take place openly and transparently to establish the facts. Candidates will be given an opportunity to respond to any concerns. This information will be handled in line with the Privacy Notice for public appointments: Privacy notice - Public appointments: guide - (

Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 sets a ‘gender representation objective’ that a board should have 50% of non-executive members who are women.

In circumstances where there is a tie break between a woman and a man section 4(3) of the Act requires the appointing Minister to appoint the woman if doing so will result in the board achieving (or making progress towards achieving) the gender representation objective.  In a tie break the appointing Minister can also chose to appoint a candidate, who is not a woman, on the basis of another characteristic or situation and can give preference to that candidate (section 4 (4) of the 2018 Act). For more information please see the Scottish Government Guidance on the Act.  

sportscotland does not currently meet the 'gender representation objective' that the board should have 50% women.

How to apply

Start the application process apply by clicking this link: Appointment Listings at Scottish Government (

Find the advert for the board you want to apply for. Follow the instructions on the advert to register online and complete the relevant sections. Then download the document called ‘application form’, complete the form (this should be a word document or pdf) and return it by the closing date to

Please note that late applications will not be considered by the selection panel.

Common questions and answers

Please contact the Public Appointments Team.


Telephone: 0300 244 1898

Deaf, deafblind and BSL users can contact the team via Contact Scotland (

Please contact the Public Appointments Team (see contact details above).

Yes. You can request to attend the interview using MS teams. Please contact the Public Appointments Team (see contact details above).

Yes. You can claim reasonable expenses, further information will be provided with the invitation to interview.

Appointed on merit means that the people who are appointed most closely meet the criteria that is sought for the board vacancy at a point in time.  People are assessed on the evidence that they present in the appointments process and the findings of the fit and proper person test.

The ESC regulate and monitor the public appointments process. The Commissioner plays a role in ensuring appointments are made on merit and use fair methods. More information about the Commissioner’s role is provided here:

Public appointments Information leaflet | Ethical Standards Commissioner

Yes. You can apply for and be appointed to the Boards of Public Bodies if you are not a British citizen however you must be legally entitled to work in the UK.

Possibly. Taking up a remunerated public appointment may affect benefits payments.  This will depend on individual circumstances and you should seek advice from your benefits provider. More information is provided here:

Public appointments and welfare benefits: information - (


No. Diversity monitoring information provided by applicants is not shared with the selection panel.

If applicants opt for a guaranteed interview this information will be shared with the selection panel following shortlisting.

Sometimes information about a reasonable adjustment is shared with the selection panel to ensure that requirements are met (e.g. if a BSL interpreter is required).

In order to meet the requirements of the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) the Scottish Government must be able to verify the credentials of applicants for public appointments should they be recommended for appointment. To ensure that this is possible all applicants must provide an address and contact details at application stage. If applicants do not provide this information their application will be rejected.


All personal information will be handled with great care and in line with UK GDPR and data protection requirements. Further information can be found in the Privacy Notice here: Privacy notice - Public appointments: guide - (

Yes. Each board has their own induction process and training offer.  New appointees are also invited to attend an induction day hosted by the Scottish Government.

Yes. Board members can serve a maximum of 8 years on one board in one role. The board Chair is considered a different role and so current and previous members can apply.

Yes. It is possible to have more than one public appointment. You should check that you can make the time commitment for an additional appointment and that there are no unmanageable conflicts of interest.

Yes. Every appointment is announced here: Public appointments: news releases - (

The board may also announce new appointments on their own website and social media platforms. Information published will include a biography and details of any political activity within the last 5 years.

The conduct expected of board members of Scottish public boards is set out here: Members of devolved public bodies: model code of conduct - December 2021 - ( includes the Principles of Public Life)

Further information about the complaints process for public appointments can be found here: How to apply - Public appointments: guide - (

Anyone concerned about public appointments can raise a complaint and have it independently investigated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Investigation process public appointments | Ethical Standards Commissioner

For further information

Please contact the Public Appointments Team, Scottish Government


Phone number: 0300 244 1898

Deaf, deafblind and BSL users can contact the team via contactSCOTLAND-BSL

Information pack for appointment to sportscotland
Date published: 25 January 2024
Date updated: 5 February 2024


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