About Us

Our history, structure, people and purpose.

The Association of Scottish Police Superintendents represents the senior operational leaders of the Police Service of Scotland in the ranks of Superintendent and Chief Superintendent.

ASPS supports its members and wider policing by:

  • Actively contributing to helping to shape future policing policy and practice at both national and strategic levels.
  • Helping lead and develop the police service to improve standards of policing for now and the future.
  • Providing support and advice to members regarding health and welfare or those ‘at risk’ in relation to conduct issues.
  • Negotiating the best possible conditions of service for members.
Our History

The origins of the Association can be traced to 1805, which saw the earliest reference to the rank of Superintendent found in the annals of the City of Edinburgh Police. However, statutory recognition was not given to the rank until enactment of the Police (Scotland) Act 1857.

The route towards a formal Association was further developed by the Police Act of 1919 which laid the foundations of the Scottish Police Federation to represent officers up to and including the rank of Inspector. The interests of chief officers were represented by the Chief Constables’ Club, which in 1920 became the Chief Constables (Scotland) Association. This meant that an organisation representing the interests of Superintendents and Lieutenants who at that time were the equivalent rank to Chief Inspector was the only gap left to be filled.

In 1920, the Secretary of State’s Conference gave approval for the Superintending ranks to choose representatives to sit on the Scottish Police Council.

An extract from The Glasgow Herald, Saturday 12th April 1924 (p.11) documents discontent within Aberdeenshire County Council on viewing the request for the constitution of a Representative Council of Superintendents and Lieutenants of the Scottish Police.

“At a meeting of the Standing Joint Committee of Aberdeen County Council yesterday the Clerk (Mr W Murison) submitted a letter from the Scottish Officer with a scheme for the constitution of a Representative Council of Superintendents and Lieutenants of the Scottish Police. Attendance at the meetings of the council would be considered as police duty, and their expenses would be chargeable to the police authorities. Mr Gordon A. Duff of Meldrum, who presided, asked what the idea was. The Clerk – To discuss conditions. Sir Arthur Grant, Bart., of Monymusk – A sort of trade union? The Clerk said that an equal representation was not given in the council to the employers. Sir Arthur Grant – Let them pay for this if they want to go. I don’t see why these superintendents and lieutenants if they want to form an association should not pay for it. We give them good pay and good wages, and they should be able to do something for themselves. The Clerk said that the other ranks had meetings for the purpose of electing representatives, and their expenses were being paid. They were all members of the same Police Council, with the Secretary for Scotland as their president. Mr William Park moved that the police officials pay their own expenses. Sir Arthur Grant seconded, and this was agreed to.”

Notwithstanding this, approval was given for the formation of the Association of Superintendents and Lieutenants. This lasted until 1947 when the rank of Lieutenant was discontinued and the organisation was renamed the Scottish Police Superintendents’ Council.

The Association’s present name was adopted in 1953 and in 1985, approval was given by the Scottish Office for the establishment of a full-time Secretariat. The name – the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents –reflects our role in the police staff structure.

National Officers

The President and General Secretary represent the Association in dealings with the Scottish and UK Government including meetings with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Justice Committee, the Police Negotiating Board, Pensions Working Parties, the Chief Constable and the Scottish Police Authority.

The Association’s national officers also represent members’ views on a number of regional and national meetings and working groups.

The General Secretary is responsible for the administration of the Association with the Office Manager, based in the Secretariat which is located at the Scottish Police College.

Executive Committee

There are three Districts within the ASPS structure: North, East and West. Each District meets locally to discuss relevant issues and elects a Chair and a Vice Chair to serve on the national Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee may also Co-opt other non-voting members as required.

Executive elections are held for each District every two years. The President is elected by a national ballot of all ASPS members for a period of up to three years.

The full process for elections and the rules and regulations of the Association are set out in the Constitution.

CLICK HERE to for full details of current Executive Committee.

ASPS Constitution

CLICK HERE to view the full Constitution of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents

ASPS Work Force Agreement

CLICK HERE to view the Associations Work Force Agreement

Contacting Us

01259 732 122

Scottish Police College – Tulliallan, Kincardine, FK10 4BE


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Photographs courtesy of David Wilson. All rights reserved.