How are Directors-General of the Scottish Government selected: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested


How and by what method are Directors-General of the Scottish Government selected and who decides the successful candidate?



The Civil Service Commission regulates recruitment to the Civil Service, providing assurance that appointments are on merit after fair and open competition. The Commission is independent of Government and the Civil Service, and its website at

contains information you might find helpful on the process and the Recruitment Principles.

A Civil Service Commissioner chairs selection panels for all recruitment competitions at Director General level and is responsible for approving the terms of the competition including the advertising strategy and whether the role is advertised internally, across government or by open (external) competition. The Commissioner is a substantive member of the interview panel and will play a full part in its deliberations. For Director General appointments in the Scottish Government, the panel membership will include the Permanent Secretary and normally a Permanent Secretary from another government department and two or more external stakeholders.


The final decision is for the panel to make, taking into account all of the evidence at its disposal.
This will include the candidate’s own application and, depending on the type of competition, performance appraisals, references and psychometric assessment reports.


About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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