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Codes of Conduct

The Codes of Conduct outline the standards of conduct expected of councillors and members of devolved public bodies.

Codes of Conduct

The Codes of Conduct have a key role in setting out, openly and clearly, the standards of conduct that must be adhered to by those in public office. This is vital to reinforce and strengthen public confidence in councillors and members of the boards of devolved public bodies.

The Councillors’ Code of Conduct, issued by the Scottish Ministers, applies to all councillors elected to all 32 Local Authority areas within Scotland. 

Each designated devolved public body is also obliged to have a Code of Conduct for their appointed Members, to reflect the functions and characteristics of the individual body.  These individual Codes are adapted from the Model Code of Conduct issued by the Scottish Ministers.

Codes of Conduct currently apply to the following categories of public bodies:

  • National Bodies e.g. the Scottish Legal Aid Board
  • Regional Bodies e.g. Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • National Health Service Boards
  • Health & Social Care Integration Joint Boards
  • Further Education Colleges
  • National Parks
  • Regional Transport Partnerships

A list of all the bodies currently covered by the Standards Commission can be found at the Scottish Government website

Advice for members of the public

The Standards Commission has produced user friendly Advice Notes for members of the public on both the Councillors' Code of Conduct and the Model Code for Members of Devolved Public Bodies. This advice covers:

  • the different sections of the Codes and what they mean;
  • what is and isn’t covered by the Codes and the complaints process;
  • how to make a complaint about a breach of a Code; and
  • the Hearings process.

Each Advice Note can be downloaded as a PDF using the links below:
Advice Note for the Public on the Councillors’ Code of Conduct
Advice Note for the Public on the Model Code of Conduct

British Sign Language version of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct

We have created a British Sign Language video outlining the main provisions in the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and explaining how a complaint can be made.

Downloads
Councillors' Code of Conduct (2021)

Councillors' Code of Conduct (2021)

7th December 2021

Councillors' Code of Conduct (2018)

Councillors' Code of Conduct (2018)

9th July 2018

Councillors’ Code of Conduct (2010)

Councillors’ Code of Conduct (2010)

1st December 2010

Downloads
Model Code of Conduct for Members of Boards of Devolved Public Bodies (2021)

Model Code of Conduct for Members of Boards of Devolved Public Bodies (2021)

7th December 2021

Scottish Government - Clarification on Paragraph 4.20

Scottish Government - Clarification on Paragraph 4.20

Scottish Government Letter (20 May 2022) clarifying the application of Paragraph 4.20 of the Model Code, re. Category Six: Interest in Shares and Securities

Model Code of Conduct for Members of Boards of Devolved Public Bodies (2014)

Model Code of Conduct for Members of Boards of Devolved Public Bodies (2014)

1st February 2014