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Our history

The story of the Scottish Parliament is evolving all of the time and every member of staff has a contribution to make in the writing of our history. From the Parliament’s founding following a referendum and the 1998 Scotland Act– “There shall be a Scottish Parliament.” – to the additional powers conferred by the 2012 and 2016 Scotland Acts; and the constitutional questions arising through Brexit, the on-going process of change and reform offers an exciting backdrop to our work at Holyrood.


Improving the capability of the Parliament and ensuring it remains outward looking and in touch with all the people that it represents is at the heart of our work as a Parliamentary service, and it’s vital that we strive to provide the highest possible level of service at all times. We place high value on excellence and we’re continually looking to improve how we work to ensure that we can deliver the Parliament’s core purpose of representing the people of Scotland by debating issues of national importance, passing legislation and holding the Scottish Government to account.


Keeping pace with the progress of digital technology is also a high priority for us. Whether it’s in the services we deliver to MSPs or the work that we carry out to engage with the people of Scotland, an important part of your role here will be in adapting to and embracing technological change.


Each of us has a responsibility, not just to the stewardship of the Parliament’s history, but in working with current and future Members in shaping its future. Our values aim to steer us in that task. Our diversity and inclusion strategy seeks to ensure that the Parliament is open and attractive to people from all walks of life and backgrounds as a place to work, visit and participate in the work of the Parliament. This matters because the way we treat each other and the values we hold underpin everything we do, indeed what we stand for as employees of the Scottish Parliament. By embracing diversity, we will all benefit from a broad range of perspectives, backgrounds, skills and experience.

Our Organisation

The parliamentary service is a high-achieving and professional organisation.  We are not civil servants; we provide impartial support to the Parliament and its Members and not the Scottish Government.  The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body is responsible for providing the Parliament with the property, staff and services required for the Parliament’s purposes, in accordance with the Scotland Act 1998. It is made up of five Members elected by the Parliament and the Presiding Officer.  The Corporate Body delegates the day-to-day running of the Parliament to the Clerk/Chief Executive.  The Clerk/ Chief Executive is assisted by the Leadership Group in setting the strategic direction for the parliamentary service and for creating the conditions that help to promote a positive workplace culture.  You can view the organisational chart and you can read about the Parliamentary offices.

Our vision

The underlying goal of all our work is to make a positive difference to the lives of the people of Scotland.  Our People and Culture Strategy puts people at the centre of everything we do.  Our approach requires each of us to value people with different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences and demonstrate this commitment in our daily activities.  Colleagues can find out more about the People and Culture Strategy on our intranet.

Measuring our effectiveness

To achieve this vision we recognise that we must all have a shared understanding of our strategic priorities as well as our individual roles and responsibilities in their achievement. 


Our strategic performance framework helps us to communicate and implement our priorities through the parliamentary service.  The strategic plan sets out our commitment to excellence and the delivery plan contains the activities that deliver the strategy.  They provide a set of shared priorities for everyone across the parliamentary service and cover matters such as improving parliamentary scrutiny, developing and investing in our staff, aligning public engagement with parliamentary business and providing high quality support to our elected Members.  Each of the aims is equally important as they are inter-related. 


Our performance management system focuses our efforts on what we're here to achieve by translating the vision into our day-to-day activities.   This helps us to focus on what's important and understand how service delivery is progressing. 

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