ACPOS remains committed to working towards 2013 date while Unison raises staff concerns.
Scotlandâ€™s single police force is set to come into being from April 2013, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland) has confirmed.
President and Chief Constable Kevin Smith (pictured) said April 1 2013 should mark the first day the unified service, to be known as The Police Service of Scotland, would deliver policing â€œacross the length and breadthâ€ of the country.
The change means eight current Scottish police forces, as well as the Scottish Police Services Authority and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, will be formed into a single body.
Mr Smith said the aim was to create â€œa force which delivers high quality, responsive, effective and efficient policing within communities while also increasing capacity across the service at a national level.â€
He said: â€œAll of that needs to be delivered with a much reduced budget across both non-staff and staff costs.
â€œThis marks an important new chapter in the history of policing in Scotland. Right across the Service, in each force and organisation, officers and staff are working on building the Police Service of Scotland.
â€œThe proposed start date of April 1 2013 is just over 12 months away and there is a lot to be done in the next year to make the change necessary to have the new structure in place.
â€œReform will not stop on the first day of the new organisation and the service will continue to take shape over the next five years to ensure its fit for purpose and makes the savings which are required in a challenging financial landscape.â€
Mr Smith emphasised that staff associations Unison, the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents and the Scottish Police Federation, were all engaged in the reform programme.
The ACPOS President also confirmed that the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland and their immediate command team would be based, in the interim, at the Scottish Police College in Tulliallan, Fife.
Vice Chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, David Ross, said the scale of the challenge would be large. But he added: â€œWe are committed to working with all parties involved in the design and implementation of the new single service to ensure a smooth transition which maintains and where possible enhances the excellent service currently provided across Scotland.â€
Unison meanwhile has raised concerns over staffing issues.
Head of Bargaining and Campaigns from UNISON, Dave Watson, said: “We have a number of major issues which we will continue to challenge around the development of the Police Service of Scotland and what it means for police staff and their interests, in particular, but we are committed to engaging with the leadership of the service over the next year.
â€œWe believe that a balanced workforce is needed to provide the best service for communities throughout the country with highly skilled police staff in a wide range of specialist roles playing a full part in the future of policing.”
Date Set For Single Scottish Police Force
See also: Changes At Top of Scots Police Fed
Scottish Police Federation Chairman Les Gray retires