The glossary provides definitions for parliamentary terms to help you understand the Parliament and how it works.  The terms are arranged alphabetically so select a letter to find the term you would like to have explained.



The situation when a seat in the Parliament is vacant because of the death, disqualification or resignation of an MSP.


A legal term for the competent authority of a person or body.

Visitor Services

Provide services which include ticketing and booking procedures for Members, staff and the public to access parliamentary business, tours and events. Manage the free tours programme and the Parliament gift shop for Members, internal departments and the public.


The means by which decisions are made in the Parliament on questions before it when they are not agreed unanimously.