Permanent Secretary

The Scottish Government


  • Location


  • Job type


  • Sector

    Central Government

  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    13 September 2021

  • Client

    The Scottish Government

Ref: GSe76587

As Permanent Secretary, you will provide leadership and direction for the Scottish Government in support of Ministers. You will play a key leadership role across Scottish public services, including communicating the Scottish Government’s priorities and values within and beyond Scotland. You will lead the Scottish Government’s relationship with the civil service in Whitehall and the other devolved governments, in an evolving constitutional context.

Recruitment Timetable

Closing date
9am on 13 September 2021

Short listing
w/c 20 September 2021

w/c 27 September and 4 October 2021

Final panel
w/c 11 October 2021

How to Apply

To apply for this post, you will need to submit the following documentation no later than 9am on 13 September 2021.

  • A short covering letter of not more than three A4 sized pages explaining why this appointment interests you and how you meet the appointment criteria and competencies as detailed in the candidate profile.
  • Your current CV with educational and professional qualifications and full employment history, explaining any gaps in your employment history, giving details where applicable, of budgets and numbers of people managed, highlighting relevant achievements in recent posts, together with reasons for absence within the last two years.
  • Details of your current remuneration package.
  • The names of at least two referees who may be contacted at short-list stage, i.e. before the final interview, describing in what capacity and over what period of time they have known you. Referees will not be contacted without your consent. Notification of any dates you are unable to accommodate within the indicative timetable set out above. Please note that shortlisted candidates will be required to undertake a number of assessments prior to the final interviews. Your co-operation in making yourself available during this time will be much appreciated.

In addition, your application should include the following documentation:

  • A completed Diversity Questionnaire:  The Civil Service is committed to achieving a workforce that reflects the society it serves, at all levels including the most senior.  Collecting this information enables us to identify whether we are recruiting from the widest possible pool of talent and check that all groups are being treated fairly throughout the process.  This form will not be disclosed to anyone involved in assessing your application.  Please complete the attached form (Annex C).  Please note that applications will not be accepted unless the form is returned.  If you do not wish to provide a response to a particular question, you should complete the ‘prefer not to say’ option.
  • Disability Confident Scheme Declaration for people with disabilities as appropriate.  We are committed to making reasonable adjustments in order to support disabled job applicants and ensure that you are not disadvantaged in the recruitment and assessment process. All monitoring data will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your application in any way. Please complete the attached form (Annex D).

If you are unable to apply online, please contact in the first instance.

For a confidential discussion please contact our recruitment advisers:

Michael Dobson, Partner, Sector Lead Central Government

 Mark Turner, Managing Partner