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Public appointments: race equality action plan

Action plan to address the under-representation of people from a black or ethnic minority background in regulated public appointments.

Public Appointments Race Equality Action Plan 2019 – 2022

What's our vision?

The regulated ministerial appointments to the boards of Scotland's public bodies are effective and reflective of the diversity of Scottish society.

Through this action plan we want to do more to encourage people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds to apply for public appointments, for those applications to be successful in a fair, transparent and merit-based system, and for the conditions to be right for people to be able to give their best when they are on a board. 

What is a public appointment?

'Public appointments' are usually appointments by Scottish Ministers to the boards of Scotland's public bodies; these are sometimes called 'non-executive directors'.  

What is a public body?

A public body is an organisation that is arm's length from central government. Public bodies carry out statutory, regulatory and advisory functions. Public bodies come in a variety of shapes and sizes and include organisations such as the NHS, Skills Development Scotland, and the Cairngorms National Park. 

The four main functions of the board of a public body are: 

  • to ensure that the public body delivers its functions in accordance with Scottish Ministers' policies and priorities
  • to provide strategic leadership 
  • to ensure financial stewardship
  • to hold the Chief Executive and senior management team to account. 

A guide to being on a board is here:

The board focuses on strategy, performance and behaviour. The Chief Executive advises the board on all matters and is solely responsible for operational issues.  Board members have no authority to instruct the Chief Executive or any member of staff on operational matters. 

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