Scottish Parliament building with Arthurs Seat in the background


The BSA Scotland Group brings together large and small businesses and VCSE organisations delivering service and infrastructure projects across the private and public sectors in Scotland.

These organisations deliver ICT, business process outsourcing, facilities management, construction and infrastructure, and other project delivery. 

275,000 people in Scotland are employed in these areas – more than one in ten employees.

So the industry has a crucial role to play as an engine of inclusive and sustainable growth, as well as supporting value and social benefits in the provision of services and infrastructure projects.

The BSA Scotland Group is co-chaired by Shona Dunsmore, Business Development Director at Robertson Facilities Management Ltd, and Jackie Smith, Head of Public Sector Consulting Scotland at Sopra Steria. We welcome new members – large or small, private sector or VCSE – operating in Scotland with an interest in our work.


Our work includes:

–  roundtables with local government and Scottish Government ministers and officials, covering areas like construction and infrastructure, digital, public procurement, and skills and apprenticeships provision

–  case studies of the work of BSA members, and papers sharing best practice and ideas for taking forward equitable partnership working in the future

–  updates on issues of interest to businesses and VCSE organisations in Scotland

Logo for BSA Scotland small


Partnership Working

Key to much of the work of the BSA Scotland Group is a focus on partnership working to help achieve the outcomes set out in the National Performance Framework and elsewhere.

Working towards the Framework’s aims – of a more successful country, opportunities for all people living in Scotland, increasing the wellbeing of people living in Scotland, creating sustainable and inclusive growth, and reducing inequalities and giving equal importance to economic, environmental and social progress – requires everyone pulling together. There needs to be equitable partnership working between the public, private and VCSE sectors.

So we welcomed the collaborative approach taken when the Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland was drawn up, and its emphasis on working with private and voluntary sectors to achieve positive, green and inclusive social impact for communities.

Inclusive Growth

How to promote jobs and prosperity that benefits everyone is a vital subject – in Scotland as elsewhere. It’s one the Scottish Government has made a priority.

An important part of this is public procurement. Reforms have been introduced across the public sector in Scotland to strengthen the role of community benefits and the importance of sustainable procurement when goods and services are commissioned from the private or VCSE sectors.

BSA Scotland members are keen to work with the public sector to use procurement to make sure local businesses are built up, the community is strengthened, local workers are helped with training and career progression, and they have fair pay and conditions.

Sustainable Growth

COP26 highlighted the importance of achieving a Just Transition to Net Zero, making sure future growth is sustainable as well as inclusive.

The BSA has published case studies of members operating in Scotland and the rest of the UK who are working in partnership to put these principles into practice.

As well as reducing the environmental impact of their own organisations, many members deliver services to private and public sector organisations to help them become more energy efficient and act more sustainably.  Larger organisations also have an important role in supporting their SME supply chains to do the same.

The Importance of Place

A focus on Place, and the needs and wishes of local communities, is key to the equitable provision of service and infrastructure projects in the future.

For example, BSA members are working with Scotland’s City Region Deals and Growth Deals. The BSA Scotland Group has been privileged to visit all of the City Region Deals to understand the progress being made – especially on infrastructure and skills.

Place leadership is vital, and BSA members have discussed how private and VCSE organisations can fit in with the priorities of Scotland’s local authorities.

One important way in which SMEs and the communities they represent can be supported and built up is through equitable partnership working between larger businesses / VCSE organisations and their supply chains. The BSA Scotland Group is keen to engage in the Community Wealth Building agenda as this work is taken forward, and we have organised meetings on the topic and contributed to the Scottish Government’s consultation.  Some case studies of BSA Scotland members’ work in communities are included below.

The Importance of Infrastructure

BSA Scotland members are integral to the development of Scotland’s transport network and of wider social and economic infrastructure.  Reforms introduced by the Scottish Futures Trust and by Transport Scotland aim to deliver greater benefits to Scotland’s communities.

BSA Scotland Group members look forward to working on the priorities identified in the Infrastructure Investment Plan going forwards.

Public Procurement Reform

Making sure public procurement operates efficiently across the whole of the public sector in Scotland, in support of the objectives in the National Performance Framework, is a central objective.

BSA Scotland members have therefore welcomed the publication of clear pipelines of work, so businesses and the voluntary sector can plan ahead on training and investment.  They welcome genuine collaboration and early engagement so ideas on innovation or social benefits can be shared.  And they welcome an unrelenting focus on shared outcomes, rather than simply lowest cost, when procurement decisions are made.  A lot of these points are reflected in the Public Procurement Strategy for Scotland, and the BSA Scotland Group welcomed the collaborative approach taken to drawing this Strategy up.




Key to much of the work of the BSA Scotland Group is a focus on partnership working to help achieve the outcomes set out in the National Performance Framework and elsewhere.

Case Studies of BSA Scotland Members’ Work in Communities


BSA Scotland members are providing service and infrastructure projects across the country.  In doing so they are also contributing to Community Wealth.  This includes:

1. Providing good local employment, training and employment support opportunities and career development. Service and infrastructure providers often have the experience to maximise employment opportunities for all sections of the community. They may have the reach and experience to help build bridges into employment for groups who are further from the labour market.  And they can often offer opportunities for career development across the business which might not otherwise be available.

2. Developing links with schools and local training providers, and linking employment support with local employers. Service and infrastructure providers can also expand the horizons of young people and other groups, increasing awareness of the full range of opportunities open to them across the industry.

3. Helping to Support, Strengthen and Develop SMEs. The business services sector has the experience and professional expertise to help many micro-businesses and SMEs take the crucial next step to becoming medium-sized businesses. Larger organisations can also have the capacity and reach to help support and rebuild local SME capacity in their supply chains. For example they can help shoulder risk, provide up-front financing, and contribute to business planning, Just Transition policies, HR and Fair Work considerations, or ethical and regulatory issues such as on modern slavery.  None of this happens by accident.  It involves a determined effort to treat supply chains fairly and as partners, with prompt payment of bills and an equitable allocation of risk and reward.

4. Improving sustainability and the local environment. Once again, different sizes of businesses have different strengths they can draw on. Larger organisations across all sectors all have an important part to play in supporting their supply chains to make a Just Transition towards Net Zero, particularly SMEs and micro-organisations.

5. Other examples of Place-based social value, community benefit or building community wealth. The common thread is that the BSA member concerned was embedded in its communities, so knew what the wishes and requitements of those communities were.  It was then able to respond – either through early engagement in a commissioning process, or through going the extra mile when delivering a place-based project.

Case studies from across Scotland and elsewhere, in all five of these categories, are below.

Robertson FM focuses on local staff and local supply chain at every opportunity.  It also looks to employ people from groups further away from the labour market, and has training and apprenticeships programmes to support skills development.


Read more here

Balfour Beatty operates a large local school engagement programme, linked to its projects across Scotland, to demonstrate the range of career opportunities available across the construction industry.


Read more here 

Maximus is developing relationships with local employers and helping people into work across the country, challenging preconceptions about what careers in key sectors might entail in the process.


Read more here

Balfour Beatty has been working in partnership with local SME businesses in the Highlands & Islands


Read more here 

Workers on scaffolding at sunset

Atkins, a design and engineering consultancy firm, works with clients from various parts of the world and is passionate in helping them achieve their Net Zero goals. Atkins ‘Net Zero Superheroes’ school competition aims to spread awareness amongst school pupils across the UK and to inspire them to pursue careers in STEM and in turn play their part in meeting these goals.


Read more here 

Cars parked on lit residential street

Capita is using its experience and expertise to help local authorities across the UK, from Renfrewshire to Blackburn, reach their sustainability targets.


Read more here 

Balfour Beatty has delivered several projects as part of its work in Scotland which were tailored to the needs of particular communities and service users, and designed in partnership with them.


Read more here 

Orkney played a central role in CGI’s partnership with a leading charity, supported by Marine Scotland, to develop a unique open-source algorithm to monitor seagrass meadows.  In turn this is now supporting biodiversity across the world.


Read more here


BSA Scotland response to Scottish Government consultation on Community Wealth Building.  Click here

BSA Scotland Points on the Consultation on Access to Information Rights in Scotland. Click here

Blog by Ian Gibson then BSA Scotland Chair – Public Procurement and Property: ‘Collaboration is key’ to delivering shared outcomes. Click here.

Examples of work being carried out Net Zero by BSA members working in Scotland and in the rest of the UK is here.

Statement of Best Practice on Partnership Working between large businesses / VCSE organisations and SMEs across the UK is here.

A BSA paper on ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Growth: 10 Lessons from lockdown’ is available here.

A BSA note on the contribution business services can make to inclusive growth across Scotland is here.

A summary of a seminar on Inclusive Growth event organised in Edinburgh by the BSA Scotland Group  is here.

Keith Brown, MSP, who was then the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, delivered the keynote speech at this event. The transcript can be read here.