The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) was established under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 to maintain policing, promote policing principles and continuous improvement of policing, and to hold the Chief Constable to account.

The Board of the SPA consists of 14 independent and non-executive directors who hold both the Chief Constable to account for the policing of Scotland, and the Chief Officer of the SPA to account for its role as employer of staff and the delivery of services to the board and policing.