Our staff work hard to deliver our overarching aim to improve public confidence in policing in Scotland.
Our skilled workforce means we are focused and robust in our approaches, and professional in our delivery.
Like other police oversight bodies, we employ a blend of staff drawn from police and non-police backgrounds.
We also operate a training scheme for new recruits who have no previous investigatory experience. This has been extremely successful, with many trainees having completed the course and gone on to become Investigators.
Our Senior Management Team
We have an senior team which has a range and depth of experience, with industry knowledge from across the policing and justice sectors.
Michelle was appointed by Ministers in June 2019 and began her five year term as Commissioner on 17 August 2019.
She was previously appointed Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prosecution in August 2013 after working in the Fiscal Service for 21 years.
Michelle joined the Fiscal Service in 1992 as a trainee and has held various roles across Scotland, including Area Procurator Fiscal for Central, Head of Policy at Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal High Court East where she was responsible for the investigation, prosecution and management of all High Court cases in the East of Scotland.
Director of Operations
Phil Chapman was appointed the Director of Operations on 12th July 2021.
He has extensive experience as a Senior Detective in the Police Service, having served for over 30 years, retiring as the Head of the Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit of Police Scotland. In that role he also held the responsibility for Borders Policing Command, Economic Crime as well as Cybercrime, Digital Forensics and Specialist Covert deployments.
Throughout his career, he has led many murder investigations as well as conducting significant major crime reviews. He spent five years deployed under mutual aid provisions to the PSNI, leading a team conducting investigations into historical ‘Troubles’ related matters in Northern Ireland.
He also has a detailed knowledge of police misconduct procedures having managed many criminal and conduct investigations into police officers. For seven years he performed the role of independent ‘Chair’ in Police Misconduct Hearings, sitting in the quasi-judicial process considering evidence in a wide range of allegations.
Head of Investigations
Raymond Brown was appointed as Head of Investigations in October 2023.
He joined PIRC from Police Scotland where he retired as Detective Chief Superintendent and Head of Local Crime. In this role he provided strategic support and direction to all Local Policing divisions Criminal Investigation Departments (CID).
Raymond has extensive experience across all aspects of criminal investigation and public protection. Specialising in investigation of serious and complex crime, he has successfully led high profile homicide investigations, cold case investigations and major crime reviews. He has undertaken the role as strategic lead for many specialist investigative portfolios, including investigative interviewing, crime scene management and forensics.
Head of Reviews and Policy
Ilya Zharov was appointed as the Head of Reviews and Policy in September 2016. He is a qualified solicitor who has extensive experience in private legal practice in the Glasgow area.
His principal area of interest is in Criminal Law, having previously been employed both with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and in Criminal defence work.
Head of Corporate Services
Sharon Smit was appointed as the Head of HR and Corporate Services in June 2017. She gained her first degree in Hospitality Management after graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University, before going on to work in the sector both internationally and in the UK.
Sharon moved into HR while living in the Netherlands, graduating with an MSc in Human Resources Development from the University of Twente in 2006. She has worked in a variety of HR positions and joined PIRC from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) where she was an HR Business Partner.
Head of Legal Services
Sharon Clelland was appointed Head of Legal Services on 28 February 2022. She is a qualified solicitor with over 20 years’ experience in policing and the public sector. After qualifying, Sharon joined the litigation team within Strathclyde Police (now Police Scotland) where she spent 16 years developing an extensive knowledge of specialist areas of policing law, including public protection; public order; and police misconduct.
In 2017 Sharon received a Divisional Commander’s Special Recognition Reward for Services to the Local Community having been engaged in a long running operation tackling serious and organised crime. Her final role within Police Scotland was as Police Scotland’s senior legal advisor for the policing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sharon joined PIRC from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service where, as Legal Services Manager, she was responsible for the management and strategic oversight of the team providing legal advice to the world’s fourth largest fire service. In 2021, Sharon was certified by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in Risk Management and Governance.
Our Audit and Accountability Committee (AAC)
Corporate governance is overseen by our Audit and Accountability Committee. We currently have six members on the committee.
Catherine Dyer CBE
With over 30 years experience as a solicitor and public sector leader, Catherine now provides leadership coaching and mentoring with particular emphasis on effective delivery, change management, equality and diversity.
As Crown Agent and Chief Executive of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) until 2016, Catherine was Accountable Officer and principal advisor to the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General on prosecution matters.
She was a member of the Strategic Board of Scottish Government and, as the Diversity Champion for Scottish Government, she chaired the Public Sector Employers’ Diversity Network.
From 2010 until 2017 she was a Director of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law (ISRCL).
Appointed by Scottish Ministers as Independent Chair of two expert review groups, on the Scottish systems to keep children safe from harm, she reported in 2017 and 2019, and has contributed to numerous other government reviews and consultations.
She was appointed CBE for services to law and order in the 2015 New Year Honours.
Catherine is also the Chair of Community Justice Scotland and currently an Ad hoc member of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee ( ARAC ) of Redress Scotland.
Michelle is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with over 18 years’ experience in the professional and financial services industries and the public sector.
Michelle started her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, working in the Government and Public Sector team. During this time she was engaged on the delivery of statutory audit services, internal audit services and specialist advisory projects across a wide range of Public Sector Bodies in Scotland and the South East of England.
Michelle then spent 10 years working at the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group where she gained extensive experience in internal audit, risk and corporate governance.
Michelle is currently a board member and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at Scottish Canals, and joins the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Board on 1 June 20
Robert Scott QFSM
Robert served as an operational fire officer and member of the senior leadership team of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) until his retirement in 2017. He attained the rank of Assistant Chief Officer and held a number of roles at Director level.
He formed part of a small team responsible for the reform of the fire service, resulting in the creation of the national organisation in 2013.
Following his retirement he operated his own management consultancy firm offering support and advice to public sector organisations and private companies alike.
In April 2021 he was appointed as HM Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service where he leads a team responsible for providing independent professional inspection of the SFRS in a bid to provide assurance that the service is working in an efficient and effective way and to promote continuous improvement.
He was awarded the Queens Fire Service Medal (QFSM) for distinguished service in the 2015 Birthday Honours.
John McCroskie has 30 years of working experience in public bodies, central government and the private sector. With a professional background in public affairs, engagement and the communication of public policy, he spent the last 12 years in policing with leadership roles in major organisational change and governance.
John moved on from the governance of policing in January 2021 having served as a Director and interim Chief Executive.
He is also Principal Transformation Lead at Zero Waste Scotland, as well as a non-executive Trustee of the health charity Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.
Elizabeth Humphreys has over 30 years of leadership experience in the public and third sectors in the areas of justice; marine management; culture; and health and social care.
She has extensive board-level strategic, policy and governance experience, with particular expertise in assurance and risk management; championing equality and diversity; leading change and business resilience.
She is currently a non-executive director and the Whistleblowing Champion for the Scottish Ambulance Service and Public Health Scotland. She is also Vice-Chair of Independent Living Fund Scotland.
Her voluntary roles include: Chair of Drake Music Scotland; and Trustee and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Scottish Association for Mental Health.
Lena has spent her working career of 49 years in the NHS. Training as a Registered Mental Health Nurse, Lena worked in a clinical capacity for 20 years in a variety of roles including senior management positions.
As a General Manager in the NHS, Lena managed the community health services for the South West Area of Lanarkshire, Lanarkshire GP out of hours service, community dental services and prisoner health services with focus on the development, delivery and performance of these services against local and nationally set standards. Lena then took up the post of the Head of Planning and Performance for South Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership and had a lead role in the integration arrangements between health and social care.
Following retirement at the end of 2015 Lena returned to NHS on a part time basis as programme manager for Prescribing Quality and Efficiency Programme and subsequently, during the pandemic, returned full time to act as interim manager of Public Health Service in NHS Lanarkshire until a permanent post holder was appointed.