National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future



The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 requires named public authorities to submit a records management plan (RMP) to be agreed by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland (the Keeper). To assist authorities, the Keeper must develop and publish a model plan and provide supporting guidance on the form and content of that plan.

The Keeper has developed his model plan and supporting guidance by drawing upon a wide range of professional public sector expertise and knowledge.

The Act offers an opportunity to create a public sector culture that acknowledges the importance of records, one that recognises how they underpin corporate rights and responsibilities, and understands how they guarantee the rights of citizens.

The Keeper has also published:

An Executive Summary taking the form of a single page summary, addressed to the CEO of a Scottish public authority that explains what they are required to do and why. This document is a template that can be used by records managers, for example to familiarise their boards with their responsibilities under the Act. Hopefully it is succinct enough that it could be inserted in the agenda of a board meeting.

FAQs - This document summarises some issues that were raised repeatedly during the public consultation (27 February - 18 May 2012) and explains the Keeper's position on each. Hopefully this document will clarify details of the implementation and what is expected of a submitted records management plan.

View our Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 Information leaflet:

An alphabetical list of the named Scottish public authorities who will be invited to submit their formal records management plan for agreement by the Keeper of the Records of Scotland. This schedule will show which authorities have already been invited to submit their records management plan. This list will also be updated to reflect any name changes, amalgamations or reorganisations that occur during the invitation programme process (approximately 2013 – 2019)

Chief Executives and Key Contacts for Scottish Public Authorities scheduled under the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.

Supplementary Guidance on Proper Arrangements for Archiving Public Records

The Public Records (Scotland) Act, 2011 requires public authorities to have ‘Proper Arrangements’ in place for the management of their public records. These include the transfer to an archive of records selected for permanent preservation.

These arrangements fall to be defined by the Keeper and the final version here is the outcome of a public consultation conducted through the Scottish Government’s Citizen Space site in early 2016.

The arrangements cover issues of constitution, finance, staffing, security, storage, collection care, and public access.

If you encounter difficulties opening linked websites, PDF documents and RTF documents listed on this page, please contact us at [email protected].

Digital Preservation toolkit for Scottish local authorities

The National Records of Scotland has created a suite of tools designed to directly support Scottish local authorities with their digital preservation requirements. The products were developed by two Skills for the Future trainees over the course of 2016 and 2017, with input from local authority stakeholders.

The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 requires all named Scottish public authorities to submit a Records Management Plan for approval by the Keeper. This plan should set out proper arrangements for the management of their records. Proper arrangements must be made for records of any format. This includes digital records.

The aim of these tools is to help local authorities with their digital preservation preparation and execution. The tools can be found below – if you have any queries or comments on these please do get in touch at [email protected]

  1. Digital Preservation for Local Authorities: Top Level Guidance (233 KB PDF)
  1. Local Authority Digital Capacity Planning Tool (2.9 MB Excel File)
    Enables local authorities to estimate the volume of archival digital records being created within their organisation.
  1. Local Authority Digital Capacity Planning Tool: User Guide (118 KB PDF)
    Provides guidance on how to use the Local Authority Digital Capacity Planning Tool.

Records Management Audit

A Scottish public authority has used the structure of the Model Plan, and our Progress Update Review prompts, to create a maturity model for reviewing the implementation of their RMP and to facilitate annual reporting to the authority’s Senior Management. They have been kind enough to agree to us sharing this Records Management Audit document (732 KB PDF). Adapted to your own authority’s needs you may find this structure useful.

M365 Guidance from the Keeper of the Records of Scotland’s PRSA Assessment Team (660 KB PDF)