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Guidance

The Standards Commission issues Guidance to help councillors and members of devolved public bodies interpret and adhere to the provisions in the Code of Conduct and to attain the highest possible standards of conduct.

Guidance on the Codes

Guidance issued by the Standards Commission for Scotland

The Standards Commission issues Guidance to assist councillors and members of devolved public bodies to interpret the provisions of the Councillors' and Model Codes of Conduct.

The Guidance is kept under regular review to ensure it remains fit for purpose, and contains illustrations and examples of factors that councillors and members should consider when interpreting the Code. The Standards Commission hopes this will help councillors and members relate the provisions of the Code to the scenarios they face and the situations they find themselves in.  

Guidance on the Councillors' Code can be downloaded from the left hand side table below. 

Please note that the version of the Councillors' Code Guidance with the Code embedded, and the separate 'section-by-section' documents are in the process of being updated. This is following the publication of the latest version of the Guidance on the Councillors' Code, effective from 7 February 2024. 

Guidance on the Model Code can be downloaded from the right hand side table below. 

If you have any comments on the Guidance, or would like to request previous versions or a version in braille, please contact us at: enquiries@standardscommission.org.uk 

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 from the foot of the table below.

Guidance on the Councillors' Code
Councillors' Code of Conduct - Guidance 2024

Councillors' Code of Conduct - Guidance 2024

Councillors' Code of Conduct - Guidance 2024
7th February 2024

Councillors' Code of Conduct - Guidance 2022

Councillors' Code of Conduct - Guidance 2022

Councillors' Code of Conduct Guidance May 2022
2nd May 2022

Advice Note for Members of the Public on the Councillors' Code of Conduct

Advice Note for Members of the Public on the Councillors' Code of Conduct

13th October 2023

Guidance on the Model Code
Combined Model Code of Conduct and Guidance 2022

Combined Model Code of Conduct and Guidance 2022

Model Code of Conduct with Guidance embedded June 2022
4th January 2023

Model Code of Conduct - Guidance 2022

Model Code of Conduct - Guidance 2022

Model Code of Conduct Guidance May 2022
9th May 2022

Combined Model Code and Guidance - Section 3: General Conduct

Combined Model Code and Guidance - Section 3: General Conduct

Section 3 of the Model Code of Conduct with Guidance embedded
23rd December 2022

Combined Model Code and Guidance - Section 4: Registration of Interests

Combined Model Code and Guidance - Section 4: Registration of Interests

Section 4 of the Model Code of Conduct with Guidance embedded
23rd December 2022

Combined Model Code and Guidance - Section 5: Declaration of Interests

Combined Model Code and Guidance - Section 5: Declaration of Interests

Section 5 of the Model Code of Conduct with Guidance embedded
23rd December 2022

Combined Model Code and Guidance - Section 6: Lobbying and Access

Combined Model Code and Guidance - Section 6: Lobbying and Access

Section 6 of the Model Code of Conduct with Guidance embedded
23rd December 2022

Advice Note for Members of the Public on the Model Code of Conduct

Advice Note for Members of the Public on the Model Code of Conduct

2nd February 2023