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How to become a Procurator Fiscal

procurator fiscal careers

What does a Procurator Fiscal do?

Procurators fiscal are legally qualified civil servants who work under the direction of the Lord Advocate. They are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime throughout Scotland.

Procurators fiscal and their deputies prosecute cases in all courts except the High Court of Judiciary. They work closely with Crown Counsel or Advocates Depute.

Their duties include:

  • receiving reports of crime from the police and other agencies
  • reviewing the evidence and deciding whether taking criminal proceedings is in the public interest
  • taking direct control of the investigation in some very serious crimes, and giving instructions to the police
  • making sure that cases come to court within strict time limits
  • preparing cases for court thoroughly, re-evaluating evidence and taking statements from witnesses
  • going into court and conducting prosecutions
  • deciding on alternatives to prosecution where appropriate
  • enquiring into sudden or suspicious deaths and causes of fire
  • usually attending in person at the scene of a murder, after being contacted by the police
  • investigating complaints made against the police writing reports
  • appraising the work of all grades of staff.

What's the working environment like working as a Procurator Fiscal?

Procurators fiscal and their deputes work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. In addition, they operate an 'on call' rota over evenings and weekends.

Work is office based in one of 48 district offices. However, some travel is involved to scenes of crime and courts.

When in court, a procurator wears a gown.

What does it take to become a Procurator Fiscal?

As a procurator fiscal, you should:

  • have an interest in law
  • be well organised
  • be able to manage time, and work on several different cases simultaneously
  • be able to assimilate and analyse large amounts of information
  • think logically and pay attention to detail
  • be able to explain matters clearly, in speech and writing enjoy speaking in public
  • be willing to work with other law enforcement agencies
  • work well under pressure
  • be willing to make decisions that will affect other people.

Procurator Fiscal Career Opportunities

There are a limited number of vacancies for procurators fiscal and deputes.

There is a well-defined career structure with different grades of procurator fiscal - but a small number of senior posts. Senior posts include Regional Procurator Fiscal. Promotion is by competition for vacancies when they arise.

Procurators fiscal might be required to move throughout Scotland to gain wider experience. It is possible to move to other posts within the civil service.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Procurator Fiscal that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
25 Chambers Street

Law Society of Scotland
26 Drumsheugh Gardens
Tel: 0131 226 7411

Skills for Justice
9 Riverside Court
Don Road
S9 2TJ
Tel: 0114 261 1499