National Strategy for Economic Transformation Delivery Board: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET).


The National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) Delivery Board will support the government’s commitment to maximising Scotland’s economic potential and delivering a greater, greener and fairer prosperity by overseeing the successful delivery of the 10 year National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

The NSET delivery board will focus on supporting and challenging the programme directors and delivery partners to deliver the six NSET programmes (1) Entrepreneurial People and Culture, (2) New Market Opportunities, (3) Productive Businesses and Regions, (4) Skilled Workforce, (5) A Fairer and More Equal Society and (6) New Culture of Delivery.


NSET included an action to restructure the Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board so that it becomes the NSET Delivery Board.

The NSET Delivery Board will be co-chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy and Barry White. It will include worker representatives and using the governance structure set out at Annex A will hold to account the public sector, private sector and third sector partners for the delivery of this strategy.


The overarching role of the NSET Delivery Board will be to:

  • ensure the successful delivery of the interconnected policy programmes of action set out in the national strategy
  • challenge and adapt any aspects within the identified programmes that do not deliver on the ambitions of the national strategy
  • to prioritise based on what is most important, what the timescales are and where the greatest influence can be brought to bear

More specifically the board will:

  • provide strategic leadership and ensure that those responsible deliver against the vision, strategic direction and specific operational milestones set by NSET and the detailed delivery plans
  • help set and agree the operational milestones for the NSET programmes, regularly review progress towards these and seek input from programme leads on delivery
  • have the power to challenge/escalate/take action where it judges performance has slipped to an unacceptable level, including requesting activity be stopped or accelerated
  • review the appropriateness of NSET actions in terms of delivering the impact on Scotland’s economy which we seek
  • actively promote a positive culture of delivery with respect to NSET, demonstrating and demanding accountability at the highest levels
  • consider if the delivery partners in ‘Team Scotland’ are working in an efficient, focused and aligned manner
  • improve performance in delivery, ensuring challenging objectives are set and performance is scrutinised
  • act in the best interests of Scotland’s business and workers as beneficiaries of the activity described in NSET
  • oversee, support and champion NSET actions which are working well across the 6 key programmes and share lessons learned

In addition, some members will also act as champions for specific programmes where they would be available to assist the Programme Director through being available as a critical friend and help make connections with industry, academia or the third sector, to support the Team Scotland approach in delivering the programmes.


To make Scotland’s economy performs at its best by ensuring it delivers the National Economic Strategy.


The NSET Delivery Board will meet on a bi-monthly basis.

  • the meeting will be co-chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Finance and Barry White
  • a record of meeting minutes, decisions and actions and the tracking and management of these will be provided by the NSET Delivery Board Unit
  • minutes of the NSET Delivery Board will form part of the official SG assurance record and will be published on the ‘NSET Delivery Board’ section of the Scottish Government website


The NSET Delivery Board will be co-chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy and Barry White.

The Board will have a number of levers available to ensure the successful delivery of the programmes. These include: requesting remedial action by programme directors to ensure delivery is on track; escalating major delivery concerns to the SG Economic Leadership where Ministerial decisions are required on accelerating or stopping activity; advising on whether the actions across the programmes remain necessary for transforming the economy in light of changing economic conditions; and through the use of soft power to ensure a Team Scotland approach in delivering the strategy.

A common accountability framework will be established with key milestones and agreed metrics of success which will be regularly reported to the NSET Delivery Board [see Annex A]. 

This includes the SG Economic Leadership Group, to be chaired by the First Minister, which will be a Ministerial group tasked with ensuring political accountability and drive for delivering the strategy.

The NSET Portfolio Board, Chaired by the Director General for Economy and sitting beneath the NSET Delivery Board, will track the progress of programmes, resolve delivery issues before they are escalated to the Delivery Board, and help make cross-organisation connections between the different programmes. 

The six NSET Programmes will have an senior responsible owner for the delivery of each programme. 

The NSET Directorate will monitor and report progress to the NSET Delivery Board and promote consistent evaluation across the programme.


  • co-chairs of the NSET Delivery Board, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Finance 
  • Barry White
  • Ewan Aitken
  • Colette Cohen
  • Audrey Cumberford
  • Gillian Docherty
  • Roz Foyer
  • Uzma Khan
  • Sir Simon Lister
  • Jamie McGowan
  • Douglas Millican
  • Nora Senior
  • Ellis Watson

Terms of office

Members to serve initially for two years on the Board.

We would look to refresh the membership incrementally in order to maintain continuity and the expertise of the Board.

NSET Secretariat and Analytical Unit. Sitting within the NSET Directorate in the SG, the NSET Secretariat and Analytical Unit will help the NSET Delivery Board to remain focused, strategic and able to successfully oversee the delivery of the programmes in NSET.

The secretariat will organise the agenda and papers for each Board meeting and provide minutes of the meeting promptly. They will ensure papers coming to the Delivery Board are of a good quality. They will record decisions and actions and co-ordinate high level progress updates. They will organise pre-meets and ad hoc meetings as required. They will also organise deep dives of topical subjects for the Delivery Board to consider. The secretariat leads on briefing for relevant events attended by the Co-chairs. They also lead on practical arrangements required for the smooth running of the meetings and will pursue a continuous improvement agenda.

The Analytical Unit will support the operation of the NSET Delivery Board ensuring that challenge and decision making is informed by evidence; to provide a focus for the delivery of key actions in NSET Programme 6; and, to coordinate evidence gathering and consistent impact evaluation across the programmes. The Analytical Unit will monitor progress of the delivery of NSET through and agreed set of metrics. They will also conduct of commission research as required. In doing so they will look at the system wide impact of the NSET not just what is narrowly defined by the actions.

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