Joining the SHR board - Information pack for applicants

Find out more about the role and how to apply.

Published

01 June 2021

Updated

01 June 2021

Key dates

 

Key Dates

 

 

Appointment publicised

1 June 2021

Online Information sessions

 

9th and 10th June 2021

Closing date for completed applications

 

28 June 2021 at midday

Shortlisting meeting to select applicants for the next stage

 

Week commencing 8 July 2021

Outcome of shortlisting meeting provided to applicants

 

Week commencing 8 July 2021

Interviews

 

Week commencing 23 August 2021

Minister will decide whom to appoint

 

Week commencing 4 October 2021

Outcome of Minister’s decision provided to applicants

 

Week commencing 4 October 2021

Start date

 

1 November 2021

 

Welcome message from George Walker, SHR Chair

I joined as Chair in July 2017. My background is in Investment Management and previously the pharmaceuticals industry. Having grown up in council housing in Ayrshire, I wanted to make a difference, through effective regulation of social housing, for tenants and people who use housing services like homeless people and Gypsy/Travellers.

Our Board is an excellent team, which brings together a wealth of diversity in background and perspective. This is so important to us and something we wish to enhance. We would especially welcome applications from female candidates and others who are less well represented on public boards such as disabled people, those from black and minority ethnic communities including Gypsy/Travellers.  

At SHR we help protect around 600,000 tenants, their families and around 170,000 other customers of social housing services such as Gypsy/Travellers who can use official sites, people who may be homeless and seek help from local authorities.

Our work helps protect public and private investment in social housing so sustaining the delivery of good quality homes and services for tenants. It is vital to help the Scottish Government and landlords achieve the new affordable homes target.

I hope you find this pack useful, I would particularly recommend the section on skills and experience. It explains what Scottish Minsters are seeking and how the recruitment panel will assess if you have those skills and qualities. Please also have a look at our videos about being a Board member and on completing the application form. There also have a section with frequently asked questions.

I would also encourage you to come along to one of our information sessions. You will hear more about us from me or one of my colleagues and learn about the public appointment process. You can book at www.eventbrite.co.uk

If you would like to discuss this opportunity directly with me, please get in touch with my colleague Roisin Harris roisin.harris@shr.gov.scot, who will be delighted to arrange this.

You can also find out much more about our work on our website:

https://www.housingregulator.gov.scot/

Once again, thank you for your interest and good luck with your application.

George Walker

Chair

About us - Our Board

George Walker – Chair  George grew up in Ayrshire and has a background in Investment Management and Pharmaceuticals as well as extensive board level experience. He has been Chair of SHR since 2017.

Siobhan White is a senior lecturer in public sector financial management at Caledonian University. She was a Board member of West of Scotland Housing Association and Chair of the Audit & Governance Panel at South Ayrshire Council. Siobhan is also Chair of SHR’s Audit & Risk Assurance Committee.

Helen Trouten Torres is passionate about social inclusion and equality. She has a deep understanding of the importance of good quality social housing through her own lived experience as a tenant of a local authority and through her varied work experience and studies.

Bob Gil is an accountant with over 25 years’ experience in the public sector. He is currently a freelance project management consultant and also a charity Trustee . He previously worked in local government and in a regeneration charity. He also has board level experience in the college sector. Bob is also a member of SHR’s Audit & Risk Assurance Committee

Andrew Watson currently works for the Scottish Futures Turst in its low carbon team. He has worked in finance for over 35 years most recently as a partner in an advisory business focusing on education, renewables and social infrastructure. Andrew was also previously Convener of Berwickshire Housing Association.

Colin Stewart has been active in the social housing sector since 2012. As a tenant of a registered social landlord he is an active member of several local and regional tenant groups and has previously served as a board member of Castlehill Housing Association.

Ewan Fraser has over thirty years in experience in social housing, including being Chief Executive of a large housing association. Ewan is also a member of SHR’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

You can read the full biographies for each member on our website.

About SHR

We are the independent regulator of Registered Social Landlord and local authority housing services in Scotland.  We were established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010

Our statutory objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of:

  • around 600,000 tenants who live in homes provided by social landlords
  • over 120,000 owners who received services from social landlords
  • around 40,000 people and their families who experience homelessness and seek help from local authorities
  • around 2,000 Gypsy/Travellers who can use official sites provided by social landlords.
  • Find out more about us and what we do.

Find out more about how we regulate in our Regulatory Framework or read How we regulate: A guide for tenants and service users.

Follow up on twitter @shr_news

Read all our latest news and sucribe to our ezine on our website.

FAQs about being a board member with SHR

What is important to SHR Board members?

Tenants and other customers of social housing services are at the heart of our work. So having Board members who understand the tenant perspective is an important part of how we work.  

Do I need to be an expert in housing to apply?

No, Ministers are seeking specific skills and qualities which are set out in the next section in this pack.

Which stakeholders do the Board engage with?

The Board engage with staff, tenants and service users and the bodies that represent them, MSPs and Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, investors in social housing, landlords as well as their representative bodies and other regulators.

This can involve meetings, networking, discussions or attending and participating in conferences by delivering speeches. SHR staff will support Members and provide detailed briefings for all this work.

What are the current work priorities for SHR Board?

You will work with SHR colleagues to:

  • deliver our Regulatory framework and Corporate Plan 2019 – 2021 and contribute to future plans from 2022 onwards;
  • set the strategic direction for SHR as it continues to respond to the pandemic; and
  • continue to respond to the Covid-19 Pandemic in how it regulates and operates.

Will I receive training and support?

All our Board members are committed to continuing their personal development and each member including the Chair will be formally appraised each year. New members will be fully supported with a training programme. The Board is supported by a dedicated member of staff. All newly appointed board members with have a mentor from within the Board to support them in the first year.

What are the Board responsible for?

We have a formal published agreement in place with Scottish Ministers. You will find a full list of Board member functions in this pack. In summary the Board is responsible for:

  • leading and setting the strategic direction for SHR;
  • ensuring that it achieves its statutory objective and carries out its functions effectively and efficiently; and
  • ensuring arrangements are in place for corporate, business and workforce planning, risk and financial management and performance reporting.

The Board has collective responsibility for the actions and decisions of the Regulator and members are accountable to the Scottish Parliament, through the provision of information. The Chair and sometimes Board members can be invited to meet with Parliamentary committees to discuss SHR’s work. A Corporate Governance Manager supports the Board.

How much time do I need to commit to being on the Board?

1 day per week or the equivalent of up to 52 days per year including preparation time at home, meetings, engagements and development. Preparation time at home can be done outside traditional office hours and time spent does not have to be in full day blocks.

What would I be paid?

Fees – £179.78 per day up to a maximum of 52 days per annum non pensionable plus reasonable travel and subsistence and receipted dependents’ carer costs.

Taking up a public appointment either paid or unpaid may have an effect on your entitlement to benefits or any benefits that you are in receipt of. This will depend on your individual circumstances, the type of benefit you receive and the appointment.  You should seek advice from the office that deals with your benefit. Further information can be found at Public appointments and welfare benefits: information - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

 

How long would my appointment be for?

Scottish Ministers appoint Board members for up to four years. They may reappoint members if their performance is appraised as satisfactory and if their skills, knowledge and experience is still required. Any appointments/reappointments will not be extended beyond eight years.

 

Where and when does the Board meet?

We meet formally six times each year and spend several additional days on strategy and development. Meetings are currently taking place via video conferencing due to Covid-19 Restrictions. Although, going forward, the expectation is that the work will be a blend of virtual and physical meetings, a physical presence will be required to be able to carry out the full range of Board activities. The Scottish Housing Regulator’s office is located in Glasgow.   Meetings generally start at 10:00 and finish no later than 15:00 with breaks.   Meetings are held in private, with staff observers and the minutes are published on our website.

 

Our Audit & Risk assurance Committee, currently made up of three Board members meets four times per year and the minutes are published on our website.

 

Members may be asked to become involved in Committees and/or short life working groups.

 

Who can apply?

Under legislation some people are not eligible to be appointed to SHR Board. Further details on this are set out later in this pack. If you are ineligible - for example you are a Board member of a housing association, you can still apply, but if you are successful you will need to resign from the RSL before taking up an appointment to SHR’s Board.  

 

You can apply and be appointed if you’re a non-British national if you are legally entitled to work in the UK.

 

How do Board members declare interests?

We are open and transparent. Each member publishes and maintains a declaration of interests on SHR’s website and manages any conflicts in line with our Board’s code of conduct. Here is a link to an example. Declarations of Interests are also sought at the start of each Board and Committee meeting.

 

I love using social media such as twitter and Facebook, will I have to change my approach?

Social media is really important communication tool and many of SHR’s members are active users on different platforms.  How you use social media could impact on your own and -  by association - SHR’s reputation.  This in turn could impact on SHR’s relationship with stakeholders and ability to regulate effectively.   In carrying out a public service role, Board members are expected to comply with the Principles of Public Life in Scotland set out later in this pack,  SHR Board’s code of conduct and follow SHR’s social media guidance. 

Person specification

Scottish Ministers are seeking people who can demonstrate all of the following four essential core skills and qualities.

 

Skill/Quality

Description

How will this be tested?

Ability to work in a team

  • You have worked successfully within a team. This may be in a workplace or as a volunteer.
  • You take responsibility for decisions.   Such as the collective decisions made by a Board and you accept that sometimes these may differ from your personal view.
  • You appreciate the skills and knowledge of others, show respect and you are willing to share your own knowledge

In application and at interview

Confidence and ability to challenge constructively

  • You ask questions to effectively challenge and better understand proposals and you are willing to debate issues with colleagues.
  • You can put forward your point of view, are able to justify it and also are open to that of others.
  • You respect colleagues and stakeholders during debates.

In application and at interview

Communication & Influencing

  • You are able to express your views You can influence people such as fellow Board colleagues, staff and SHR’s stakeholders.
  • You can adapt how you communicate to suit your audience.

At interview via practical exercise issued in advance.

Analyse and review complex issues.

  • You can use information to consider priorities, risks and opportunities and reach conclusions.
  • You are able to balance different considerations and recognise when further information is required.

At interview via practical exercise issued in advance.

 Please ensure that you also read further information on priority skills below. 

 In addition to the essential core skills and qualities set out in the previous section, Scottish Ministers are seeking applicants who can also demonstrate at least one of the following priority skills & qualities

 

Priority Skill

Description

Tested

Current or recent experience as a practicing Scottish solicitor

 

  • You are currently or have recently practiced as a Scottish solicitor as defined by the Law Society of Scotland.
  • You will have experience of practicing in the field of advocacy for vulnerable clients such as people who are homeless or tenants

In application and at interview

Understanding of regulation delivery in any sector

 

  • You will have an understanding of a regulatory environment.
  • You will have experience in a field of regulation.
  • You will understand the impact and value of regulation.

In application and at interview

Understanding of the green agenda in the built environment

 

  • You will have knowledge of environment and climate change agenda in the built environment at a senior level

In application and at interview

Understanding of digital developments and cyber security

  • You will have an understanding of the digital landscape
  • You will have knowledge of cyber security trends and risk mitigation at a strategic level.

In application and at interview

 

If you can demonstrate more than one priority skill, please provide details in your application. 

How to apply

Please apply online through our dedicated public appointments website. If you experience any difficulties accessing our website, or in the event that you require a word version of the application form, please contact the Public Appointments Team by calling 0300 244 1898 or by emailing public.appointments@gov.scot.

The closing date for applications is 28 June 2021 at Midday.

You can watch our video for tips on completing your application.

Please note that you do not need to complete your online form in one sitting.  You can save your online application form and come back at any time before the closing date to finish it and submit your completed application. You can edit your online application form as many times as you like before the closing date. 

The online application form requires you to provide an answer for all mandatory fields on a page before you can proceed to the next page.  If you want to skip through the application form quickly to just see what the questions are on each page then you simply enter any answer (even a single character such as X) into the mandatory fields on each page and then progress to see what questions are on the next pages. If you do this, please remember to go back and fill in your proper answers before you submit your application form.

The application form seeks information about you and the skills, knowledge and experience you have that are relevant to the roles. The Person Specification details all the skills, knowledge, experience and personal qualities we are seeking and indicates how and at which stage in the process each of the criteria will be tested.

You should provide clear and succinct information about yourself and how you meet the criteria that are being tested at this application stage. When being asked to demonstrate a skill, you should give specific examples which best demonstrate to the selection panel what it is you did, the reasons for your actions, the skills you used and what specifically about your approach affected the outcome. When being asked to demonstrate knowledge, understanding or experience, you should describe how you gained this, the breadth and depth of this knowledge, understanding or experience and any situations where you have used this.

The Selection Panel will not make assumptions about your evidence, so it is important that you take the time to ensure that you are comfortable with the information you are providing in respect of your application.

Further information and examples on completing a competency based application form can be found in the how to apply section of the Public Appointments Website.

For more information about public appointments and other vacancies please visit the dedicated public appointments website at www.appointed-for-scotland.org.

Please keep a copy of your initial application for reference.

Equality and Diversity

Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 sets a ‘gender representation objective’ that a board should have 50% of non-executive members who are women. In circumstances where there are two or more equally qualified candidates (a tie break), at least one of whom is a woman and one who isn’t, then section 4(3) of the 2018 Act requires the appointing Minister to appoint a woman if doing so will result in the board achieving (or making progress towards achieving) the gender representation objective.  In a tie break the appointing Minister can chose to appoint a candidate, who is not a woman, on the basis of another characteristic or situation and can give preference to that candidate (section 4 (4) of the 2018 Act). If the appointing Minister wishes to choose a candidate because of a situation that was not specified in the applicants pack, the appointing Minister will ask the Ethical Standards Commissioner to make an exception to the Public Appointments Code of Practice. Scottish Government Guidance on the Act is available here.

 

Valuing Diversity

Scottish Ministers and SHR value very highly the benefits of having different experience and points of view on our Boards. Scottish Ministers particularly welcome applications from people with protected characteristics that are currently under-represented on the SHR Board, such as women, disabled people, those from black and minority ethnic communities including gypsy/travellers.

If you have a disability within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 and require an adjustment at any stage of the public appointments process, please get in touch with the Public Appointments Team on Freephone 0300 244 1898 or by email Public.appointments@gov.scot

 

Equalities Monitoring Form

The Scottish Government is committed to appointment on merit, and to equality and diversity in public appointments. The equalities monitoring information is not provided to the selection panel. However, in the event of a tie break situation in respect of the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018, the appointing Minister will have access to the monitoring information of only those candidates involved in the tie break in order to best inform their decision on whom to appoint. The information gathered from equalities monitoring is very important and helps to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, without discrimination because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or any other relevant details.  All equalities monitoring questions are optional. You are not obliged to answer any of these questions but the more information you supply, the more effective our policy development will be. All information supplied will be treated in the strictest confidence, in line with the principles GDPR Articles 6(1) (c) and (e), which are the lawful bases for processing, and GDPR Article 9 (2) (b) so we can comply with a legal obligation which  is the condition for processing. It will not be placed on a personal file.

 

 

About the selection process

The Selection Panel:

Chair: Catriona MacKean, Deputy Director for Better Homes (interim), Scottish Government

Panel member: George Walker, Chair - Scottish Housing Regulator

Independent Panel Member: Judith Robertson, Chair - Scottish Human Rights Commission

To make sure that the process is transparent, and the appointment is made on merit, the selection panel members will declare if they know anyone who has applied for these appointments.

Initial Application

The selection panel will read your application to assess whether you have demonstrated the essential experience and core skills you must have for the role.

The applicants who most closely meet these requirements will be invited to attend an interview and complete a practical exercise, which will be issued in advance of your interview. We will advise you in writing if your application will progress to the second stage or if you are note invited to interview.

If invited to the second stage and you have a disability and you require adjustments to be made, you should advise public.appointments@gov.scot or by calling 0300 244 1898 who will make reasonable adjustments to enable you to attend.

Interview

The second stage is an interview with the selection panel and a practical exercise based on an SHR Board paper. If invited to this stage we will provide you with a Board paper in advance of your interview so you can prepare. We will discuss the exercise with you at the start of your interview.

During your interview the selection panel will also ask you questions to assess whether you can demonstrate that you meet all the required skills and experience as set out in the specification.

More information on assessment methods is available from this hyperlink:

www.publicappointments.org/faqs/faq/29/how-are-skills-knowledge-and-experience-tested

Interview arrangements

Due to current guidance on physical distancing, interviews will be held by video link or tele-conference. The selection panel will be as flexible as is possible to ensure that no candidates are disadvantaged by these arrangements. If candidates have any concerns or restrictions with regards to interviews, please let the Public Appointments Team know by calling 0300 244 1898; or by emailing Public.appointments@gov.scot.  We will provide full details on the final stage of assessment, including arrangements for holding interviews remotely by video link if appropriate, to those candidates who are invited.

Expenses for attending interviews

If you’re invited for an interview you can claim for reasonable expenses involved in attending. This includes dependent carer expenses. We expect you to use the most efficient and economical means of travel, and the amount we reimburse will normally be restricted to this. If you need to stay overnight you must contact public.appointments@gov.scot or telephone 0300 244 1898 in advance for confirmation of current subsistence rates. If you’re invited to the second stage these rates and a claim form, will be included in the invitation letter. You must provide receipts to support all claims.

Decision to appoint made by Scottish Ministers

The selection panel will provide Ministers with a summary of the evidence gathered during the process and recommend candidates for appointment. The appointing Minister can choose to meet those applicants prior to making a decision.

We will write to all candidates interviewed to advise of the outcome of the interview and offer feedback on:

  • the assessment of your merit in relation to the skills, knowledge and experience required by the person specification and;
  • where appropriate, the outcome of the fit and proper person test (there are more details about the test on page 14).

What happens if you are appointed?

Should you be appointed, some of the information that you have provided will be made public in a press announcement about your appointment. The press release will include:

  • your name
  • a short description of the SHR
  • a brief summary of the skills, knowledge and experience you bring to the role
  • how long you have been appointed for
  • any remuneration associated with the appointment
  • details of all other public appointments you hold and any related remuneration you receive for them
  • details of any political activity declared by you
  • a statement that the appointment is regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner (the Commissioner)

SHR officials will contact you directly to arrange your induction training, offer support and to provide you information on key dates and essential information.

Guidance

Scottish Government guidance for all those appointed under statute to be members of the boards of public bodies in Scotland is available here.   This guide provides new chairs and board members with much of the basic information that you will need to understand the role of a Board Member of a public body. The document provides the principles of corporate governance, sets out the roles, responsibilities and relationships as well as the effective financial management and expected standards of behaviour that you will adhere to.

 

 

 

About the Ethical Standards Commissioner and this regulated competition, the nine principles of public life, and the Commissioners leaflet

The Fit and Proper Person Test

Scottish Ministers and the public must feel confident that people to be appointed to the Boards of public bodies are fit and proper persons to take up these positions. In the context of public appointments a Fit and Proper Person is an individual who is suitable for appointment because they meet the requirements of the role, and their past or present activities (and/or behaviours) mean that they are suitable to be appointed.

The fit and proper person test is an on-going process with checks built into different stages of the appointment round. These are designed to collect the necessary information and evidence. For these appointments, the checks in place for the fit and proper person tests are:

Verification of relevant information provided by the applicant

  • We will test the evidence you provide in your application in relation to the skills, knowledge and experience required for the position, and further probe your evidence at interview if you’re invited.
  • If applicants provide information in support of meeting any of the criteria which details roles or qualifications held which is material to the selection panel’s decision making, this information may be checked as part of the final assessment.

Ensuring that the applicant’s conduct to date has been compatible with the public appointment in question:

  • We will confirm that you understand: the work of the body, the nature of the appointment and that you’re not aware of having committed any offence, or performed any act, that’s incompatible with the position that you’re applying for. We will do this using the declaration statement on the application form.

Determining that the applicant’s appointment is not barred by reference to the constitution of the body concerned by way of, for example, criminal offences or other relevant matters:

  • Information on disqualifications is provided in this pack material and you are asked to review this prior to submitting your application. We will confirm that you are not disqualified from taking up the role using the declaration statement on the application form.
  • By submitting your completed application you’re declaring that the information provided is, to the best of your knowledge and belief, true and complete.

Confirmation that the applicant has no inappropriate or unmanageable conflicts of interest incompatible with their appointment:

  • You’re asked in your application to complete questions about potential conflicts of interest.
  • If you’re invited for interview, further assessment will be through questioning that you understand what is meant by a conflict of interest. We’ll ask you to confirm that, to the best of your knowledge, you don’t have any conflicts of interest that are incompatible/ unmanageable. We’ll ask for additional information if you’ve declared a conflict of interest in your initial application.
  • As part of the Commissioner’s Code, you’ll also be asked at the application stage to declare if you’ve had any political activity in the past five years.

Ensuring that the applicant agrees to apply the Principles of Public Life in Scotland and be bound by the members’ code of conduct:

  • In carrying out their public service role, individual Board members will be expected to comply with the Codes of Conduct and rules adopted by bodies. You are referred to the Code of Conduct which can be accessed through this link SHR Code of Conduct
  • Confirmation that you have read the Code, that you understand it and agree to be bound by it in the event that you are appointed forms part of the declaration statement of the application form. By virtue of submitting the completed form you are declaring that the information provided is, to the best of your knowledge and belief, true and complete.
  • Applicants are expected to embrace the nine Principles of Public Life in Scotland. These are included in this pack at page 16 and 17. If invited to the final assessment stage, you will be asked to confirm your understanding of, and agreement to, applying these principles.

Establishing that the individual is able to meet the time commitment required:

  • The time commitment involved for the role is given on page 9. If you’re invited to interview you’ll be asked whether you can meet this commitment.

If you want to know if you have a conflict that would bar you from before you apply, then you should contact Roisin Harris by email: roisin.harris@shr.gov.scot or telephone 0141 2425642 discuss your concerns.

Lobbying - Appointees should be aware of the terms of the Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 as these may apply to their communications with MSP’s, Scottish Ministers, Special Advisers and the Permanent Secretary who are covered by the terms of the Act. Applicants are expected to familiarise themselves with their obligations under the Act. For more information see www.lobbying.scot/.

Complaints - For details of the complaints procedure, please visit the Appointed for Scotland website or www.appointed-for-scotland.org/Complaints/. Complaints should be sent to publicappointmentcomplaints@gov.scot or to Public Appointments, Scottish Government, 3F (North), Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ. You can also speak to someone in the Public Appointments Team on 0300 244 1898.

The Commissioner’s leaflet is included at the end of this information pack and provides more information on her regulatory role in relation to public appointments and about taking unresolved complaints further.

Please note there is NO appeal process in respect of the Public Appointment process.

The Principles of Public Life

People who wish to be appointed to roles in public life have to pass a Fit and Proper Person test which is described in more detail below. The Principles of Public Life in Scotland are as follows:

Duty You have a duty to uphold the law and act in accordance with the law and the public trust placed in you. You have a duty to act in the interests of the public body of which you are a member and in accordance with the core tasks of that body.

Selflessness You have a duty to take decisions solely in terms of public interest. You must not act in order to gain financial or other material benefit for yourself, family or friends.

Integrity You must not place yourself under any financial, or other, obligation to any individual or organisation that might reasonably be thought to influence you in the performance of your duties.

Objectivity You must make decisions solely on merit when carrying out public business including making appointments, awarding contracts or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits.

Accountability and Stewardship You are accountable for your decisions and actions to the public. You have a duty to consider issues on their merits, taking account of the views of others and must ensure that the public body uses its resources prudently and in accordance with the law.

Openness You have a duty to be as open as possible about your decisions and actions, giving reasons for your decisions and restricting information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

Honesty You have a duty to act honestly. You must declare any private interests relating to your public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

Leadership You have a duty to promote and support these principles by leadership and example, to maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the public body and its members in conducting public business.

Respect You must respect fellow members of your public body and employees of the body and the role they play, treating them with courtesy at all times. Similarly you must respect members of the public when performing duties as a member of your public body.

Ethical Standards Commissioner's leaflet

Who We Are

This leaflet is about the work of the Ethical Standards Commissioner, as it relates to public appointments, and the Commissioner’s office. The Commissioner regulates appointments to the boards of many of Scotland’s public bodies. The Commissioner is wholly independent of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

What We Do

Every one of us living in Scotland benefits from the essential services provided by our public bodies. Their boards play a vital role in guiding and shaping these services. Our job is to oversee appointments to these boards to help ensure that the people who serve on them are appointed on merit, using methods that are fair and open. That oversight is usually provided by one of the Commissioner’s Public Appointments Advisers. Whilst we regulate the process used to make appointments, it is run by civil servants on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. Our website has a list of the bodies that we regulate and also has useful information on applying for a public appointment.

This leaflet is sent to everyone who applies for a regulated public appointment in Scotland so that they know that the process is regulated and what to do if things go wrong.

Making a complaint about a public appointment

Anyone who believes that an appointment has not been made appropriately or who has concerns about the appointment process itself can make a complaint.

If you have a complaint about a public appointment you first have to complain to the Scottish Government and give its officials a chance to respond. If you are unhappy with the Scottish Government’s response to your complaint you can then ask the Commissioner to investigate the matter for you.

If you are in any doubt about whether we can deal with your complaint, or if you want advice before raising a formal complaint, please contact us using the details provided below. You can read in more detail about the way in which we deal with complaints by downloading our complaints leaflet from our website. We can send you the leaflet in another format if you would prefer.

Our website also tells you what to do if you want to make a complaint.

www.ethicalstandards.org.uk

Email: appointments@ethicalstandards.org.uk

Telephone: 0300 011 0500

Ethical Standards Commissioner, Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace, EH12 5HE

Home - Contact Scotland BSL (contactscotland-bsl.org)

 

Who can become a Board member

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 sets out restrictions on who can be a Board member with the Scottish Housing Regulator.

Applicants will be ineligible to take up a position if they are:

(a) a member of the Scottish Parliament,

(b) a member of the House of Commons,

(c) a member of the European Parliament,

(d) an office-holder in the Scottish Administration,

(e) a councillor of any local authority,

(f) an officer of any registered social landlord (other than by virtue of this Act),

(g) an employee of any local authority, or

(h) an employee of any registered social landlord.

(i) are under 18 years old

Also, Scottish Ministers may remove a member from office if:

(a) the member is an undischarged bankrupt, or

(b) the member -

(i) has been absent from meetings of the Regulator for a period longer than 6 consecutive months without the permission of the Regulator, or

(ii) is unable to discharge the member’s functions as a member or is unsuitable to continue as a member.

 

If you are currently disqualified from appointment, you can still apply, but we will ask you to confirm that you will stand down from the position that disqualifies you prior to taking up any appointment to the SHR’s Board.

Board member functions

Functions that will be specified in your appointment letter if you are successful

The objective and functions (including powers and duties) of the SHR are set out in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010.

You will work with board colleagues to provide active and effective leadership, direction, support and guidance to ensure that the SHR achieves its objective by performing its functions effectively and efficiently.  

You will provide a strong ‘challenge function’, carefully scrutinising the underlying assumptions in proposals put to you before decisions are taken. In exercising this function, you will, where necessary, challenge other members and senior officials of the SHR.

Specific functions may vary but, unless otherwise agreed, you will:

  • Participate actively in collective decision-making by the Board and, where required, chair or participate in one or more of the committees of the Board.
  • Be sensitive to the views of others, inside and outside the boardroom.
  • Challenge constructively and rigorously proposals put to the Board by senior staff.
  • Monitor and support senior staff in their implementation of the Board’s decisions.
  • Accept collective responsibility for decisions of the Board.
  • Help the Board to focus on the interests of tenants, homeless people and other service users of social landlords.
  • Commit to continuing personal development activities in support of your non-executive role.