• Michelle Macleod
    Commissioner (Executive Team)

    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 (Executive Team)

    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 5 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 7 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 Executive Team are our Head of Reviews and Policy, Head of Investigations and Head of HR and 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 HR and 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. 

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.

  • Eugene Clarke
    Audit and Accountability member

    Eugene, after a 30 year career in Scottish Further Education as lecturer, manager and national adviser, created his own consultancy business which he ran for 15 years. His particular interests include organisational communication, employee engagement and use of technology.

    During this time he has also sat on the boards of a number of organisations both private and public sector, ranging from a professional football club to NHS Fife. In these organisations he has chaired the Audit Committee of Fife IJB and served as a member of Finance and Staff Governance committees.

    He has also been involved in a range of community activities including being chair of the successful Levenmouth Rail Campaign and the Fifers for the Community and spent several years as a Chair qualified member of the Children’s Panel.

    His leisure time interests including most forms of music, supporting his local football team, East Fife and travelling both within and outwith Scotland.


  • 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. 

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.

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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.

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What we do

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

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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.

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