Dr Dickson's career was spent in a range of social policy posts within the Scottish Government, with a strong focus on the delivery of justice. She was involved in a number of initiatives to improve case handling in the justice system, including reform of the High Court and of the summary justice system. For the last four years of her career she was responsible for improved delivery of sentences served in the community, better risk assessment and risk management of people who had offended, and a range of multi-agency initiatives to reduce reoffending. Recently retired, Dr Dickson is also a member of Hanover (Scotland) Housing Association's Committee of Management. Dr Dickson was appointed to the Parole Board in November 2011.