The Scottish Information Commissioner - It's Public Knowledge
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Book IconThe Model Publication Scheme 2014

The Commissioner has created a single Model Publication Scheme (MPS) which can be used by any Scottish public authority.  We review the scheme and publish a new version annually. 

The MPS 2014 is the current model and can be adopted by any Scottish public authority, and particularly:

  • NHS bodies listed in part 4 of Schedule 1 of FOISA (whose schemes expire this year). This includes: NHS Boards, GPs, dentists, optometrists and community pharmacists.
  • Cultural and leisure trusts subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (Designation of Persons as Scottish Public Authorities) Order 2013.

PDF iconModel Publication Scheme 2014 (PDF - 112 kB)


What resources can you find on this page?

Why adopt the MPS 2014?

The Commissioner recommends that you adopt the single MPS rather than creating your own "bespoke" publication scheme:

  • The MPS is based on best practice since 2004, and has been adopted by virtually all Scottish public authorities. 
  • Authorities who adopt the scheme tell us it is easier, less resource intensive and leads to more information being published.
  • The adoption process is more straightforward -  just notify us you have done so, and provide a link to your guide to information.

The current scheme is the MPS 2014, but you can see the schemes developed for previous years at Previous model schemes.   

If you decide you want to create your own "bespoke" scheme from scratch, you can find out more about this at Bespoke publication schemes

If you have any questions about whether the single model scheme is suitable for you, or would like further advice about publication schemes, please contact the Commissioner's Policy and Information Team

How to adopt the MPS

If you want to adopt the MPS, thr are three simple steps:

Step 1 - Make a commitment to publishing all the information contained in the MPS

You can't amend the MPS.  By adopting it you are making a public commitment to publishing everything you hold which is described in the classes.  Make a copy of the MPS availble for the public to see what you have committed to.   

Step 2 - Create a guide to the information you publish, and make sure that all this information is published

The guide sets out how you publish all the information you hold which falls under the MPS classes.  It is separate to the MPS but should be read in conjuction with it, so you need to make both available to the public.  Guides to information MUST:

  • allow the public to see what information is available in relation to each class
  • state what charged may be applied
  • explain how to find information easily (including arrangements for those without internet access)
  • provide contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing information
  • explain how to request information that has not been published via the MPS.

Step 3 - Notify us you have done so

We don't expect you to submit your guide to information to us, but we do need you to formally notify us you have adopted the MPS by sending us a notification form.  (Unless you are a GP, dentist, optometrist or community pharmacist - we do NOT need these individuals to notify us).

The form must include a link to where your guide to information can be found on your website, or we can't accept it.

Word DocumentModel Publication Scheme 2014 Notification Form (Word - 52 kB)


Template guides to information and other sectoral resources

 Your guide to information can be in any format you like, as long as it meets the requirements set out above.  If you don't want to start with a blank sheet of paper, you can download and use the following templates.  Use the Commissioner's checklist (below) to help you decide what you need to put in your Guide.

Word DocumentTemplate Guide to Information - suitable for ANY authority

Word DocumentTemplate Guide to Information for Leisure and Cultural Trusts 2014

 Word DocumentTemplate guide to information for General Practitioners (132kB) produced by the British Medical Association

Another useful resource for developing your Guide is your previous publication scheme.  In 2010, the Commissioner approved models for NHS Boards, GPs, dentists, optometrists and community pharmacists, in 2010.  Although they have now expired, most of the content is still relevant, so you could use this as a starting point for creating your Guide to Information. If you need to access these old model schemes, please contact us.

Model Publication Scheme Guidance and Checklist

If you want to to adopt the MPS 2014, you MUST read our guidance - it gives a step by step guide on what you need to do to comply with your legal obligations and follow best practice.  Use the checklist to help you create your Guide to Information.  It will help you think of what you hold that should go into each class, and identfiy any gaps in the information you are publishing.  The checklist can be used as a "standard"  against which to assess your completed Guide.

PDF iconModel Publication Scheme 2014 Guidance (PDF - 453 kB)

PDF iconModel Publication Scheme Self-Assessment Checklist (PDF - 146 kB)http:///

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