Our Board

Bob Downes SEPA Chair at Angus Smith Building

The Board is responsible for the overall direction and performance of our organisation, including our efficiency and effectiveness as a public body.

 About our Board 



SEPA’s Agency Board will meet at 1.00 pm on Tuesday 28 November 2023 via MS Teams.

If you have any queries, including attending SEPA's Agency Board meetings please contact Jennifer McWhirter, Clerk to the Board, Jennifer.mcwhirter@sepa.org.uk.

About our Board

The Board is responsible for the overall direction and performance of our organisation, including our efficiency and effectiveness as a public body.

Members come from a variety of business, environmental and health backgrounds, and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise, as well as passion for environmental issues, all of which helps us to deliver our statutory purpose and One Planet Prosperity approach to regulation.

How is our Board appointed?

Appointments to our Board are made by Scottish Ministers and are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland. Appointments are normally for a four-year term with the possibility of a further term, subject to evidence of effective performance and satisfying the skills, knowledge and personal qualities required on the Board at the time of re-appointment.

What are the Board’s responsibilities?

  • Establishing the overall strategic direction of the organisation within the policy and resources framework agreed with the responsible Minister.
  • Overseeing the delivery of planned results by monitoring performance of the organisation against agreed objectives and targets.
  • Ensuring that we operate sound environmental policies in relation to our own operations.
  • Demonstrating high standards of corporate governance at all times.
  • Ensuring that statutory requirements for the use of public funds are complied with.

A full description of our Board’s role and responsibilities is detailed within its Standing Orders. Additionally, Board members are required to comply with the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

How is the Board structured?

The Chair is responsible for overall leadership, and is personally responsible to Scottish Ministers. More information is contained in SEPA's framework with Scottish Government - SEPA Framework.

There are currently 10 Board members, who attend Board meetings, as well as ad-hoc strategy meetings, working groups and other meetings. They also meet with SEPA staff to discuss key strategic issues, attend relevant seminars and events run by SEPA or partner organisations.

Our Chief Executive sits on the Board, and to whom day-to-day management of SEPA.is delegated. The CEO is responsible for delivering our strategic outcomes and long term objectives that have been approved by the Board, as well as making decisions relating to the daily operation and performance of the organisation.

Audit & Risk Committee

The Audit & Risk Committee is convened by the Board to monitor and review risk, control and corporate governance.

Members are appointed to the Committee by the Board under the terms of the organisation’s Standing Orders, to assist and advise it in undertaking its responsibilities.

It meets to receive reports from internal and external auditors and SEPA staff. The Committee is governed by its Terms of Reference and remit.

People & Remuneration Committee

In January 2022 the Board established a People Committee. Chaired by a member of the Board, it focuses on the oversight and support of SEPA's most important people policies and the development of an organisational culture that can drive transformational change.

On 25 July 2023 the Board approved the widening of the remit of the Committee to the People and Remuneration Committee.

The committee follows a revised Terms of Reference and provides updates to the Agency Board.

Contacting the Board

Please contact our Clerk to the Board, Jennifer McWhirter.