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Our governance

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The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the Scottish Government and operates at ‘arms-length’ from the Government. It was established by the Achd an Fhoghlaim Adhartaich is Àrd-ìre (Alba) 2005. This Act sets out the main governance framework within which we operate and our main duties and powers and the basic constitution of SFC.

Framework Document

The relationship between SFC and the Scottish Government is governed by a Framework Document, agreed in September 2022.

Ethical Standards in Public Life

We comply with the provisions of the Ethical Standards in Public Life (Scotland) Act 2000. We require all of SFC’s Board members to complete a Register of Interests which is updated regularly and is available to the public.

View the registers of interests for current members at Board membership.

Code of Conduct

One of the provisions of the Act was the establishment of the Standards Commission for Scotland. The Commission is committed to high ethical standards in public life through the promotion and enforcement of Codes of Conduct. It works with public bodies to support them in their duty to promote high standards in the conduct of their business. You can find more information on the Commission at the Standards Commission for Scotland website.

Scottish Ministers have approved the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Funding Council [PDF].

On Board: A Guide for Board Members of Public Bodies in Scotland

We seek to comply with On Board: A Guide for Board Members of Public Bodies in Scotland which sets out the responsibilities of Boards of public bodies and their members, and provides good practice in corporate governance. We also seek to comply with the relevant provisions of the Financial Reporting Council UK Corporate Governance Code.

How we conduct our business

How we operate

Standing Orders

Our Standing Orders are the rules for the membership, the proceedings and conduct of SFC business and meetings.

Schedule 1 of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005 contains provisions about the status, membership, structure, and proceedings of SFC. Some of these provisions are relevant to SFC’s Standing Orders; in particular those relating to membership and to committees.

The legislation also states that we may regulate our own procedure – including any quorum – and so for the most part the Standing Orders have been determined by SFC.

View the current:

Scheme of Delegation

Non-executive bodies such as SFC delegate operational matters to the chief executive officer.

Authority is also delegated from SFC Board to its Chair and to its committees. Our Scheme of Delegation defines where the boundaries lie between strategic and delegated operational matters.

SFC’s current Scheme of delegation [PDF] can be found here.

Efficiency statements

The Scottish Government sets a 3% annual efficiency target for public bodies to ensure they are managing their resources carefully. As part of this, SFC is required to publish an annual efficiency statement.

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

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

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