Historic Scotland and RCAHMS
This section contains all the relevant information and news on the merger between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS (Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Monuments).
Historic Scotland & RCAHMS Transition Programme - External Update - September 2012
This is the first of a series of regular updates about progress towards merger of
Historic Scotland and RCAHMS as proposed by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in
her announcement on 4 July. The first stage of the transition programme is to complete the development
of an outline business case for the proposed merger, which can be approved by Cabinet and which will
then form the basis for both legislation and for the transition programme. The Cabinet Secretary has
asked for this by the end of 2012.
Frequently Asked Questions
A range of questions have been raised by staff and stakeholders. These and others
that have arisen since have now been put together into a list of FAQs
This will be a dynamic list as new questions arise and many answers will become clearer as work progresses.
If you have any questions you would like answers to, then please send them to email@example.com
RCAHMS - Historic Scotland Merger FAQs [PDF,
Joint leadership of the change programme
Ian Walford, Interim Chief Executive of Historic Scotland and Diana Murray, Chief
executive of RCAHMS are jointly leading the change programme and report jointly to Ken Thomson, Director
General for Strategy and External affairs and to the Cabinet Secretary. This commits both organisations
to work collaboratively on the development of the business case and provides an opportunity to build
on the acknowledged strengths of both organisations.
Cabinet Secretary meeting with RCAHMS Commissioners
As a follow up to the announcement of the proposed merger, Cabinet Secretary, Fiona
Hyslop, met with RCAHMS Commissioners on 21 August to discuss the proposals. There was a constructive
and positive discussion, with a strong commitment to work together to make a success of the merger.
The Cabinet Secretary reiterated her commitment to protect RCAHMS’ functions. She also emphasised that
merger would create a new body that would need to draw upon the strengths of the two merging bodies
to create a new organisation best equipped to research, record and protect Scotland’s Historic Environment.
A forward plan of engagement in discussions with both RCAHMS Commissioners and Historic Scotland’s Advisory
Committee will be developed, ensuring that they are able to inform the development of the business case
and the change process.
Joint SMT meeting
A first meeting of the two Senior Management Teams took place on 24 August. The
meeting took the form of a series of presentations from senior managers focused on current functions,
priorities and challenges. This formed a foundation for future discussions which will help shape the
vision, values and structure of the merged body. The two SMTs will be meeting together on a regular
basis, with the next session scheduled for 11 October.
Commissioning specialist consultancy
As part of the development of the business case, three immediate areas have been
identified for specialist advice and specifications developed. These are:
- Stakeholder engagement – Consultants are being commissioned
to provide an in depth qualitative study of stakeholder perceptions and expectations that can help inform
the business case and the change process. BEFS will provide additional support to this process with
- Charitable status and governance models – This is a
complex area where there are a range of potential models that would have a variety of implications for
the merged body. Jane Ryder, former Chief Executive of OSCR and now an independent consultant on charity
and governance matters, will provide this advice.
- Taxation – Closely linked to consideration of charitable
status and governance models is the impact on the tax position of the merged body. This has a direct
impact on its financial viability. Specialist tax advice has been commissioned from Scott Moncrieff,
who provided financial advice as part of the option appraisal process.
Alongside the development of the business case, work is progressing on the review
of policy on the Historic Environment. The policy review will be looking at the whole of the sector
as well as the functions that the merged body will fulfil in leading the sector. The initial phase of
work is being developed alongside the development of the business case and creates the opportunity to
simplify current arrangements and reduce fragmentation.
A small team is coming together to manage the change programme, led by Michael Proctor,
who undertook the initial option appraisal. Other team members are:
- Laura Bailie
- Jennie Marshall
- Lorna Aird
- Michael O’Neill (who will be providing specialist economist input).
Further information on contact details and responsibilities will follow in future
updates once all of the team is in place.
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