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Frequently asked questions

A monument warden inspecting a gravestone
These are some of the most commonly asked questions about a career in Historic Scotland.

Q: How can I find out about vacancies at Historic Scotland?

A: We advertise all our vacancies online, in a variety of media including local job centres, local and national newspapers and specialist publications. For further information on vacancies within Historic Scotland email or telephone 0131 668 8600.

Q: Do you offer apprenticeships?

A: We offer apprenticeships in most trades eg stonemasonry, joinery, plumbing, electrician and painting.

Q: How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

A: Apprenticeships are advertised when a vacancy arises.  The vacancy would normally be advertised in either the local job centre or local newspaper.  Anyone wanting to apply for an apprenticeship would need to contact the appropriate Regional Office that was dealing with the vacancy.  Historic Scotland has 4Regional Offices – Edinburgh Castle, Croft-an-Righ in Edinburgh, Argyll’s Lodging in Stirling and Fort George in Inverness.

Q: What qualifications do I need to join the Agency?

A: Much depends on the job you are applying for.  Qualifications are required for the majority of roles within the Agency. The exception to this is for Office Support Grades, Apprentice Stonemasons and Industrial staff and Stewards/Retail Staff. For these Grades relevant experience is acceptable instead of formal academic qualifications.  Our adverts will clearly set out whether qualifications are required. You will also need to be able to pass our selection process and complete initial training.

Q: How fit do I need to be to join the Agency?

A: You must be able to give regular and effective service. You will be asked to complete a health declaration form as part of the recruitment process. Some posts, particularly those within the Industrial side are required to pass a health and fitness test and have a full UK driving licence. These roles involve a significant level of physical activity and therefore you must be in good health and sufficiently fit to undertake the work safely and effectively. More details of the test will be provided in the candidate information for these posts, as and when they are advertised.

Q: What are the nationality criteria for joining the Agency?

A: Visit the Eligibility section of our website for information on nationality and residence requirements.

Q: How do I go about becoming a Steward?

A: As with all our vacancies, you will need to respond to an advert and follow the instructions on how to apply. The process will normally involve completing an application, meeting the required standard on competencies and, for some roles, attending an assessment centre. You will also need to meet the basic eligibility criteria and pass pre-appointment checks into your nationality, health and other matters.

Q: How much will I be paid?

A: This will depend on the grade of the post. All new entrants start on the minimum and the starting salaries for with effect from 1 August 2014 are as follows:

Band A: £15,000
Band B: £18,213
Band C: £22,022
Band D: £29,870
Band E: £36,815
Band F: £44,796
Band G: £54,961

Q: When do I get paid?

A: All staff are paid on the last working day of the month. Payment is done electronically direct to your bank account

Q: What will my terms and conditions be if I transfer from another government department?

A: Existing civil servants who apply externally may be able to transfer across and retain continuity of employment for purposes of pay, pension and annual leave entitlements. Terms will be voluntary and salary details can only be confirmed by our Pay Team upon receipt of present salary information.

Q: Do you offer flexible working hours?

A: Yes, where possible, our staff are able to enjoy part-time working, job sharing and career break opportunities. However, some positions require set working hours. Full details on working hours will appear in our adverts and candidate information.

Q: What are my hours of work?

A: Historic Scotland operates a number of different working patterns which are dependent on the business need. The most common types of working patterns are:

Full Time
If you are employed full time, you will normally work 42 hours per week gross which includes a one hour paid lunch break or 37hours per week net excluding the paid lunch break.

Part Time
If you are employed on a part time basis, you work less than 37hours net per week. You must also have a minimum of a half hour lunch break which is unpaid.

Annual Hours
If you are employed on an annual hours basis, you will normally work 1932 hours per year. Staff employed on an annual hours basis are normally, but not always, those in the Monument Conservation Unit and is based on an annualised hours framework which has been agreed with the Trade Unions. This provides for a longer and shorter season. The longer season has to consist of at least 26 weeks and staff normally work between 40 and 47 hours per week during this time. The balance up to the total of 1932 hours per year is normally made up during the shorter season.

Rostered System
If you are employed on a rostered system this may be either on a full or part time basis but you will work 5 days out of 7. Hours and days of attendance are normally confirmed by line management.
There may also be the opportunity to participate in a Flexible Working Hours (FWH) scheme although this is mainly confined to staff in Longmore House and Regional Offices and is subject to the needs of the agency.

Q: Is there a probationary period?

A: Yes.  All new employees are required to complete a probationary period of 9 months. The probation period gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to meet the requirements of your job and your suitability for a permanent appointment. It also gives you the chance to make sure that the job is right for you.

Q Do you take on workers in the Agency on a short term basis?

A. We occasionally bring in agency workers to help take forward specific projects within the Agency for short periods. These workers are obtained through recruitment agencies and are mainly at Band A to Band C level. Such workers remain the employees of the agency concerned and are not Historic Scotland employees. Agency workers may apply for permanent roles in Historic Scotland through external campaigns run under the principles of fair and open competition. The same nationality and residence requirements apply to agency workers as to permanent Historic Scotland staff. Agency workers must also undergo security clearance procedures. Historic Scotland also employs temporary fixed-term staff, mainly during the summer holiday period, to help our permanent staff cope with the influx of tourists.  These posts are usually offered in local Job Centres.

Q: Do you offer work experience opportunities?

A: Yes a limited number. Many locations across the Agency assist school students who are looking for work experience. Where possible, we will arrange these placements for either one or two weeks’ duration.

Q: How long does the recruitment process take from application to appointment?

A: Generally, the recruitment process for Historic Scotland is about three to five months, although this can differ depending on location and type of post.

Q: Does Historic Scotland run a graduate scheme?

A:The Agency does not run its own graduate scheme.

Q: What does equal opportunities mean to the Agency?

A: We aim to employ a workforce that reflects, at all levels, the diversity of society as a whole. All our permanent staff are recruited through fair and open competition. We take care to assess the impact of our policies on race, religion and belief, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation and age equality. All of our recruitment is governed by the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners Recruitment Code – this is available online at

Q: What training and development opportunities do you offer?

A: We are highly committed to developing our staff. Staff are offered the opportunity to develop their skills through a huge range of internal and external developmental activities including training courses, e-learning, coaching and mentoring, job shadowing, secondments and out of office work experience. All promotion in the Agency is based on the fair and open competition principle.

Q: How do I find out more about the standards of conduct for Civil Servants?

A: Go to the codes and standards section of the Cabinet Office website .The Agency expects a high standard of personal integrity and honesty from its staff. We carry out a range of pre-employment checks in addition to security checks to ensure that candidates meet those requirements.

Q. Where could I work?

A; We have two regional offices in Edinburgh, one in Stirling and one in Inverness and employ people throughout Scotland at our historic sites and properties.

Q. What benefits do you receive working for Historic Scotland?

  • Flexible working
  • Access to pension schemes
  • Free access to confidential advice and counselling service
  • Discount at gyms
  • Support for further education and personal development
  • Free entrance to all our monuments

Contact us

Human Resources
Historic Scotland
Room 3.10
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: +44 (0) 131 668 8600