Cross-Party Group scrutiny

Cross-Party Groups (CPGs)

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee is responsible for the approval of new Groups and for ensuring all Groups comply with the Code of Conduct. 

In light of all non-essential visits to the Parliament being suspended until further notice the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee issued the following letters to all Groups 

Monitoring reports

The Committee has agreed that it will consider annual reports on CPGs complaince with the Code



All CPGs are required to comply with Volume 2, Section 6 of the Code of Conduct

Further guidance for Groups is available in Volume 3, Section 6 of the Code of Conduct

In addition, the Committee produced Best practice guidance for groups (144KB pdf) in the form of FAQs.

Members are permitted to use the technology available in meeting rooms during CPG meetings and there is guidance on the use of the IT equipment (1.1MB pdf).

Registration process

New Groups must follow the process of holding an initial meeting and electing office bearers as set out in Section 6.2 of the Code.  The name and purpose of the Group must also be confirmed at the initial meeting. Within 30 calendar days of the initial meeting, the Convener must submit a completed registration form to the Standards clerks.

Once the completed registration form has been received by the Standards clerks it will go to the next suitable meeting of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. The Convener of the proposed Group will be invited to that meeting to discuss the Group's registration.

Operation of Groups

Key requirements

  • At least 10 calendar days before every meeting, a notification must be sent to the Cross-Party Group mail box, [email protected]. This allows clerks to add the meeting date to the Cross Party Group webpage;
  • Groups must meet formally at least twice a year;
  • To be classed as a formal meeting at least 2 MSPs, who are members of the Group, must attend;
  • Groups must provide minutes of all meetings. The minutes must include a list of attendees, identifying which attendees are members of the Group and which are invited attendees who are not members of the Group. Where organisations are members of a Group, it should be the organisation’s name that is listed and not the individual who attended on the organisation’s behalf;
  • Minutes can be published either in draft form or following approval by the Convener of the Group. If Groups wish to wait until minutes are approved these must be submitted after the meeting at which the minutes are approved;
  • Membership changes must be emailed to [email protected] within 30 calendar days of the change. Changes to the MSP membership must be notified by the Convener of the Group;
  • Groups must hold an AGM within 11-13 months of the Groups first meeting, then each 11-13 months thereafter; and
  • Groups are required to submit an annual return to Standards Clerks within 30 calendar days' of the AGM. (guidance on completion of the annual return form (186KB pdf))


Modification of Volume 2, Section 6.4.1 of the Code of Conduct

Volume 2, Section 6.4.1 of the Code of Conduct requires that each CPG must include at least one MSP from each of the parties or groups represented on the Parliamentary Bureau. 

At its meeting on 30 June 2016 the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee agreed to exercise its right to make a general modification to this section of the Code of Conduct to allow CPGs which have at least one MSP member from the majority of parties represented on the Parliamentary Bureau to register. There are currently five parties represented on the Bureau therefore, if the Group has MSPs from at least three parties, it meets the requirements of the Code.

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