What do committees do?

Use our interactive resource to find out more information about Committees.

Picture of committee room

Committees play a central part in the work of the Parliament. Most committees meet weekly or fortnightly, usually on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings, in one of the Scottish Parliament's committee rooms.

What do committees do?

  • Scrutinise the work of the Scottish Government, including the scrutiny of budget proposals
  • Hold inquiries into subjects relating to the work of the committee
  • Examine legislation, including bills and subordinate legislation
  • Take evidence from witnesses to assist in their inquiries
  • Consider petitions that have been submitted by members of the public and groups who wish to raise an issue

Who attends committee meetings?

  • Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who are members of the committee. Normally there are between five and fifteen MSPs on each committee, selected with regard to the balance of political parties in the Parliament
  • A convener who chairs the meeting
  • A deputy convener
  • Clerks who provide support and advice to the members
  • Official reporters and Broadcasting who provide a record of what is said in public during meetings
  • Witnesses who are invited by the committee to speak and be questioned. Witnesses can include Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and other individuals or organisations with a particular interest in the subject discussed
  • Journalists
  • Members of the public


    Are you giving evidence to a parliamentary committee?

    This interactive guide will help you to prepare and explains what happens during and after the meeting.

    Please click on the image to access this resource. The information is available in English and Gaelic.

Did you know?


All Scottish Parliament committees have their own webpages with information about their work and membership.

You can attend any committee business that is held in public
. Tickets are available free of charge. Please contact Visitor Services for details.

You can keep up to date with future committee meetings by signing up to our free weekly eBulletin.

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Find out more

Your Parliament at Work

An audio version is also available

What do committees do?  

Appearing before a Scottish Parliament Committee

An audio version  and a BSL video version  are also available.

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