Correspondence regarding potential use of World Professional Association for Transgender Health guidelines: FOI release

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

Information requested

'Under FOI, could I please request any correspondence between Scottish Government officials and ministers, and any internal or external individual or group, regarding the potential adoption or use of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's new guidelines (version 8, published in September 2022).

This should include, but not be exclusive to, any correspondence from external groups/charities or individual staff members/staff groups urging the Scottish Government to adopt or disregard the guidelines, or any requests for clarity on whether the new guidelines will be followed.

Please provide all correspondence since December 1, 2021.’

Following our request for clarification on the meaning of ‘correspondence’, you further clarified that by ‘correspondence’ you mean:

‘any form of communication specifically around the updated version of the WPATH guidance. This could be, for example, emails from stakeholders seeking clarity on whether the guidance would be adopted or urging the SG to take one position or another. It would also include replies from the SG side. Or any record of meetings/telephone calls where this might have been discussed. E.g communication with WPATH itself, groups which have supported guidance in its previous forms (Equality Network, Stonewall), groups which oppose it (For Women Scotland, LGB Alliance) etc.’


I read your request, and subsequent clarification, as a request for all correspondence from either internal or external stakeholders regarding potential adoption or use of WPATH version 8 guidelines, specifically encouraging the government to either adopt or not adopt WPATH 8 guidance, or seeking clarification on whether these will be adopted in Scottish services.

I attach a copy of most of the information you requested.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exemption under section S.38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained below and in the Annex to this letter.

An exemption(s) under section(s) s.38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of the individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

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

FOI 202200324041 - Information Released - Annex


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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