• Michelle Macleod

    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. 

  • Phil Chapman
    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.

Heads of Department Group & Audit and Accountability Committee

Supporting our senior management team are our Head of Reviews and Policy, Head of Investigations and Head of Corporate Services. Corporate Governance is overseen by our Audit and Accountability Committee.


  • John McSporran
    Head of Investigations

    John McSporran was appointed as Head of Investigations in March 2017. He joined the organisation as a senior investigator in December 2012, prior to our inception as the PIRC on 1 April 2013. 

    Before joining the PIRC, John was a Detective Superintendent in charge of the Major Investigations Teams at Strathclyde Police dealing with murders and other major enquiries and a Detective Superintendent in charge of Special Operations, investigating terrorist and organised crime.

    He also spent a period of time seconded to the Department for International Development and was posted to West Africa as a Special Advisor to assist in the development of Sierra Leone following the civil war there.

  • Ilya Zharov
    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.

  • Sharon Smit
    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 joins the PIRC from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) where she was an HR Business Partner. 

  • Sharon Clelland
    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.

Audit and Accountability Committee

  • Catherine Dyer CBE
    Chair of the Audit and Accountability Committee

    With over 30 years experience as a solicitor and public sector leadership, 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.

    Catherine is currently a member of the International Advisory Board to the Institute For Inspiring Children’s Futures.

    She was appointed CBE for services to law and order in the 2015 New Year Honours.

  • Michelle Wailes
    Audit and Accountability member

    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 2021.

  • Robert Scott QFSM
    Audit and Accountability member

    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
    Audit and Accountability Committee

    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.

  • Liz Humphreys
    Audit and Accountability Committee

    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 Collins
    Audit and Accountability Committee

    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.

Staff composition of the PIRC

The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC), in common with other police oversight bodies, employs a blend of staff drawn from police and non-police backgrounds.

Find out more

Senior Staff Salaries

As a non-departmental public body (NDPB) the PIRC publishes names and salary information about the most senior members of staff. This information is available here.

Find out more

What we do

In this section you can find out more about what we do in relation to both investigations and complaint handling reviews.

Find out more

Our organisation

In this section, you can find information about our organisation, such as: our purpose & vision, priorities, intended outcomes and values; our financial information; our commitment to freedom of information and data protection and our corporate documentation.

Find out more