Public appointments: guide

A guide to public appointments including information on how to apply.

This document is part of a collection

How to apply

Many people may apply for a public appointment. Not everyone will be successful. Whether you are successful at the application stage will depend on the strength of your application and the strength of applications from others.

The guidance on the application process is to help you make a stronger application. It will give an overview of applying and assessment as well as a brief description of what happens at the next stage of assessment if your application is successful at the first stage. It is general information and it should be read in conjunction with what is in the Applicant Information Pack for the public appointment that you are interested in.

The guidance assumes you are interested in a specific regulated public appointment that you have seen advertised on Appointed for Scotland. Regulated public appointments are those where the appointments are made by Scottish Ministers, the process to appoint is administered by the Scottish Government and that process is independently regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

If you are interested in a public appointment go through the following six steps.

Step 1: study the Applicant Information Pack carefully:

  • the role and the person specification
  • the criteria for selection
  • what evidence of meeting the criteria might look like (usually headed “indicators”, “descriptors” or “what does this mean?”)
  • how each of the criteria for selection will be tested
  • at what stage in the process each of the criteria will be tested.

Step 2: check that the time commitment, remuneration, and location and possible times of any board meetings are appropriate for you.

Step 3: check the disqualifications section (if any) in the Applicant Information Pack.

Step 4: read the section on the Fit and Proper Person Test in the Applicant Information Pack.

Step 5: research the public body. Look at the public body website, what it currently does, what its aims are. Think about the links you can see between any strategic plans on the website and the person specification in the Applicant Information Pack.

Step 6: Apply!

Register your interest

To receive notifications about new Board vacancies, please complete the form in supporting documents and return to or call us on 0300 244 1898.



Telephone: 0300 244 1898 (Freephone)


Public Appointments Team
Scottish Government
Area 3F North
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

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