Scheme of delegation principles

This guide outlines the general principles which should be applied when setting up a hearing panel for any of the NHSScotland Workforce Policies.


The following guide forms part of the standard for workforce policies that apply to all staff within NHSScotland regardless of which Board they are employed by.

Given the range and scale of employers within NHSScotland, it is not possible to define a standard scheme of delegation. On that basis the following general principles should be applied when establishing any hearing panels under NHSScotland workforce policies:

  • The chair of any hearing panel should be one step removed from the employee to ensure impartiality i.e. it should not be the direct line manager
  • The number of managers with dismissing powers should be restricted but sufficient to ensure cases can be concluded in a timely manner. They should normally be at Director level or report to a director
  • Where there are insufficient levels within an organisation to allow cases to be considered without reaching board level at an early stage, cases may be heard by equivalent managers from other services
  • In Health and Social Care Partnerships, local authority employed managers can hear cases of health staff as long as these are under the relevant NHSScotland Workforce policy and they are advised by a health HR representative
  • In cases involving professional, technical or educational matters, the chair must be supported by a relevant adviser or representative from the educational institution if they do not have the necessary qualifications/registration to do so

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