Scottish Public Service Awards 2022

SPSA 2022 Image


The Scottish Public Service Awards celebrate the daily contribution made to Scotland’s civic society from within the civil service, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, local government, health and social care sector, broader public sector and their partners within the Third Sector.

Like the year that came before, 2022 has been another year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic as efforts of those who have been working to deliver public services in Scotland, turned to the recovery. The sheer scale of the efforts to maintain and deliver services amid unprecedented times has been extraordinary and the Scottish Public Service Awards offer the opportunity to celebrate outstanding achievements within Scotland’s civic landscape and give welcome recognition to the work that goes on – sometimes very much behind the scenes and often in difficult circumstances – to support the governance of Scotland.

Co-hosted by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rt Hon Alison Johnstone MSP, and Deputy First Minister John Swinney, the awards will recognise the rich and unique diversity of public life in Scotland and the vital relationships that cut across departmental, geographic and institutional boundaries.

Holyrood is delighted to play a part in showcasing some of the innovative and thought-provoking work being done the length and breadth of Scotland.

Nominations Close Monday 10 October

Paul Gray
Paul Gray
Civil Service Commissioner
Sally Loudon WP
Sally Loudon
Chief Executive
Lesley Fraser Headshot
Lesley Fraser
Director General Corporate
The Scottish Government
Alex Hartley Headshot
Alec Harley
Portfolio Director for Mission Support
Leidos Innovations UK
Stephen Boyle Headshot
Stephen Boyle
Auditor General for Scotland
Audit Scotland
Laurence Rockey Headshot
Laurence Rockey
Director, Scotland Office
UK Government
David McGill Headshot
David McGill
Chief Executive
The Scottish Parliament
Linda Bauld
Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health
The University of Edinburgh
Mandy Rhodes
Managing Director
Holyrood Communications
Anna Fowlie
Chief Executive
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

Each category nomination requires three areas of information, as well as a title (which will be engraved on the trophy should you win):

- A brief summary (100 words)

- The measurable benefits that the individual, team or project has achieved and/or state the impact this has had beyond the immediate team, business area or department (300 words)

- A testimonial, which can be from a partner, colleague or service user to strengthen your nomination (150 words)


An award for the team that best embodies the spirit of public service reform, showcasing the exceptional public sector of the future – working across departmental and organisational boundaries, placing the citizen at the centre of service delivery and working to tackle the causes of social ills, rather than solely the symptoms .  The award criteria are:

- A team or project that have exhibited an ability to effectively collaborate across departments and organisations to provide better services

- A team or project who have engaged effectively with their services users and put the citizen at the centre of their approach

- A team or project who can exhibit how their approach has improved the efficient delivery of their service and/or project


An award that recognises an exceptional performance by a team in the delivery of a highly effective communications campaign, targeting either internal or external stakeholders/audiences.

External campaigns should clearly demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency of delivery and be able to show how they have enhanced the reputation and user engagement of the organisation, or achieved a specific aim, i.e. behaviour change, awareness raising, etc. 

Internal campaigns should have resulted in high levels of staff engagement on the given issue.


An award recognising good practice in project, programme and portfolio management, open to any team or individual that can demonstrate:

- Best practice application of expert project management skills and techniques.

- Evidence of systematic oversight of the project/programme and clear appreciation of the customer supplier environment.

- Clarity about pre-agreed benefits and evidence of their delivery.


Recognising a team or individual that has demonstrated exemplary commercial practice, achieving better outcomes for public bodies through contract negotiations and management, commercial policy development, smart procurement, best practice supplier management, or new models of delivery.


An award open to any individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership.  This would include:

- Setting compelling vision for future direction.

- Engaging people and developing their own and other capabilities.

- Managing effectively and delivering results.


This award recognises the use of technology to deliver improvements in public services to the citizen.

This may include:

- The effective use of technology to improve service provision

- The effective use of technology in making a public service(s) more accessible to the citizen

- The effective use of technology to increase the operational efficiency or effectiveness of a public body


This award recognises the work of public bodies in ensuring that the communities they serve are fully engaged in the development and delivery of public services in their area. This can range from engagement with communities in the development of policies to combat anti-social behaviour, collective approaches to regenerating disadvantaged communities or simply ensuring that communities feel that their voices and opinions are heard and valued by the public bodies which serve them.


An award for an individual, team, group or network that demonstrably promote the values of equality, diversity and inclusion by initiating and leading action to remove barriers of discrimination and prejudice and improve the working experience and engagement levels of all employees across all strands of diversity.


- Acts as a role model or ally in championing equality across all strands of diversity.

- Creates an inclusive culture by challenging inequalities/barriers/bias in the application of people management policies, for example inclusive recruitment, talent development, performance management, career development and promotion, or in customer service delivery.

- Takes steps to eliminate or reduce incidents of bullying, harassment or discrimination against employees or service users 

- Leads positive actions or interventions to enable all talented employees to realise their full potential

- Applies evidence and customer insight to tackle issues effectively to improve service user experience

- Can demonstrate positive outcomes arising from their interventions for individuals and the organisation


The delivery of many public services in challenging environments is only possible if the public sector and the third sector work together. These partnerships provide the day-to-day public services that support and care for people and communities throughout Scotland. And they are often lifelines for vulnerable citizens who could otherwise go unnoticed.

We are entering a new phase for public services with huge transformations taking place when resources are scarce.  It is essential that money is spent wisely, but people and communities need services that meet their needs and don’t just save money. Services need to shift the emphasis to prevention.

With innovative ideas and plenty of enthusiasm, it is possible for a project or partnership to make a significant impact. If you’re a public sector and third sector organisation delivering a service or a project that is making a big difference to people and communities, then this is the award for you.

The judges will be looking for clear evidence - facts and figures and real-life examples - of how the partnership has made a difference and supported and improved the lives of people and communities (this may include case studies and/or testimonials).

The underlying aim of the award is simply to recognise excellence. Each submission must indicate clearly to the judges the nature and scope of the challenge(s) faced. The judges will be looking for examples of excellent work with evidence of effective approaches which are supported by hard facts that demonstrate impact.

This award will recognise public and third sector organisations working in partnership to deliver better outcomes in public services. 

Nominations can be made by either of the partnership organisations or third sector organisations themselves or public sector organisations they are working with and by the people who are benefiting from the service.


The public sector has a vital role in helping Scotland reduce its carbon emissions, meet exacting climate change targets and achieve a more sustainable economy. The Green Agenda matters to us all and public services have shown by example that by implementing culture change such as designing flexible working practices,  putting in place effective energy management schemes, moving towards low carbon build, encouraging circular procurement and through resilience planning, what innovation can really look like. This award will recognise how working together, the transition to a green and more sustainable economy benefits all.


    Event Details
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    • Start Date
      7 Dec 2022 6:00 pm
    • End Date
      7 Dec 2022 8:30 pm
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