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Our governance and policies

Our governance

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the Scottish Government and operates at ‘arms-length’ from the Government.

Find out more on how SFC is governed

Our policies

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010


Sections 31 to 32 of Part 3 of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010  places duties on public bodies to provide and publish information on certain expenditure and exercise of functions as soon as is reasonably practicable after the end of each financial year. The Act names SFC along with other named public bodies, requiring publication of information on:

  • Expenditure in relation to:
    • Overseas travel.
    • Hospitality and entertainment (given).
    • External consultancy.
    • Public relations.
  • Payments which have a value in excess of £25,000.
  • The number of individuals within the organisation that receive remuneration in excess of £150,000.
  • A statement on the steps SFC has taken to promote and increase sustainable economic growth.
  • A statement on the steps SFC has taken to improve efficiency, effectiveness and economy.

SFC’s Annual Report and Accounts contains information about sustainable economic growth and efficiency, effectiveness and economy.

Expenditure in relation to Overseas travel, Hospitality, External consultancy and Public relations

The following statements are published in accordance with Section 31(1) and 31(2) of the Act.

Financial Year Public Relations Hospitality and Entertainment International Travel External Consultancy
2018-19 £158,925.30 £9,604.84 £3,202.24 £74,014.16
2019-20 £191,410.06 £6,536.32 £1,039.92 £46,473.95
2020-21 £188,849.88 £35,800.00
2021-22 £193,058.70 £142,952.00
2022-23 £202,591.95 £6,021.88 £1,121,040.20


Public Relations:
Includes branding, design, publications, printing & distribution and cost of in-house staff.

Hospitality & Entertainment:
Includes expenditure in relation to hospitality and entertainment incurred by Board members, employees or third parties.

International Travel:
Includes travel to as well as from the UK; and the cost of hotels, the cost of travel and subsistence during overseas visits and other related expenditure.

External Consultancy:
Includes management, IT, financial, construction or infrastructure relates consultancy, research and evaluation and policy development (including feasibility studies).

Monthly expenditure over £25,000

We publish this information on a monthly basis in our Monthly expenditure reports.

If you have an enquiry about any payment line please email with Publication of items of expenditure over £25,000 and the month to which your request relates as the subject line, as well as details of the payee, amount, description of the expenditure, and the line number it appears on.

Senior Salaries

All parts of the Scottish Government including organisations such as the Scottish Funding Council are required to publish details of their senior leadership team’s salaries.

SFC does not have any individuals within the organisation that receive remuneration in excess of £150,000.

Further details about the management of the Scottish Funding Council’s finances can be viewed in our Annual Report and Accounts.

Name Job title Salary band
Karen Watt Chief Executive £130,000-£134,999
Martin Boyle Director of Policy, Insight and Analytics £100,000-£104,999
Jacqui Brasted Interim Director of Access, Learning and Outcomes £90,000-£94,999
Helen Cross Director of Research and Innovation £90,000-£94,999
Richard Maconachie Director of Finance and Funding £100,000-£104,999


Note: salaries take account of 2022-23 pay awards and will be subject to the terms of 2023-24 awards.


Trade Unions


We recognise the importance of good industrial relations and effective communication with our staff. At SFC we formally recognise Unite the Union for collective bargaining and consultation purposes as well as staff representation.

Joint Negotiation and Consultation Forum

We have a Joint Negotiation and Consultation Forum (JNCF), which meets regularly, and involves members of our Senior Management Team (SMT) and representatives from our staff trade union, Unite. Through this we share information, discuss issues of mutual concern, consult and, where appropriate, negotiate on policies, procedures and terms and conditions of employment.

We also have a health and safety committee which includes union representatives to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff working at the SFC.

Trade union facility time

To enable union representatives to effectively represent their members and work with the Management of SFC we provide facility time which we see as an investment that improves the quality of staff working relations, helps us to work collaboratively to reach workable solutions within the workplace and greatly reduces the potential negative impact of disputes in the workplace.

In accordance with the Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 we provide the support through paid facility time for union officials working at SFC. See our annual reports and accounts for further information.

National Fraud Initiative


We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

On behalf of the Auditor General for Scotland, Audit Scotland appoints the auditor of our accounts. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information.

Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified but the inclusion of personal data within a data matching exercise does not mean that any specific individual is under suspicion.

Where a match is found it indicates that there may be an inconsistency that requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out. The exercise can also help bodies to ensure that their records are up to date.

Audit Scotland currently requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to Audit Scotland for matching for each exercise.

The use of data by Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority, normally under its powers in Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data matching by Audit Scotland is subject to a Code of Practice.



You can find current and future opportunities on Public Contracts Scotland Notices.

Further information

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SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

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