National Records of Scotland


Following our successful tender bid in November 2019, Amalgamate was chosen to carry out a baseline H&S review of National Records of Scotland’s current health and safety processes and procedures.

NRS are a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government. They are responsible for civil registration, the census in Scotland, demography and statistics, family history, the national archives and historical records.


National Records of Scotland

National Records of Scotland


The Challenge

The scope was to ensure that NRS has, as a minimum, the processes, procedures and key roles/resources required to meet the legal H&S requirements of the company. This involved identifying and then analysing evidence of their H&S policies, processes and procedures.

Weaknesses and strong points had to be identified to make recommendations for improvement  in practice to enhance compliance. We had to consider the risk management framework to identify capability and decision making to profile, control, manage and mitigate H&S risks.

This would all involve engaging with staff, business areas and key stakeholders (including Trade Unions) to gather evidence and ensure appropriate governance and leadership is in place. We would then need to prepare, submit and present a report with our findings of the review and make appropriate recommendations.

In addition H&S inspections were carried out at the following sites:


  • New Register House
  • General Register House
  • West Register House
  • Thomas Thomson House Edinburgh
  • Ladywell House
  • Cairnsmore House


Delivering our Services

Our team, led by our Managing Director (Allan MacDonald) and supported by one of our Health and Safety Consultants (Mark Gajic), considered H&S legislation and regulations together with the resources, training and working practices in place within the organisation. Our team looked for evidence that safety is being managed effectively and how these arrangements are being carried out throughout the location. 

Prior to attending sites, our consultants carry out a desktop review of all relevant H&S documentation.

The review was for evidence that the current H&S policy, processes and procedures were suitable and sufficient for the organisations needs and appropriate recommendations for improvement were made. We analysed if NRS is effectively resourced to deliver a compliant framework for H&S within the organisation, looking at key roles, capacity and competence to meet the organisations needs. 

In addition, the review covered how NRS manages risk and whether the organisation has a framework in place to identify the capability and decision making of the organisation to profile, control, manage and mitigate H&S risks. 

The review team identified both critical weaknesses and highlighted areas of strength in NRS H&S policy, procedures and practice while making recommendations for improvements where required. Guidance was provided on best practice which was benchmarked against current industry standards to enable any changes to be made quickly and efficiently.



Staff Engagement

The review team engaged with individual staff, business areas and key stakeholders (including Trade Unions) while undertaking the review, gathering evidence and recommendations for improvement.

Our review considered whether the appropriate governance and leadership commitment was in place. The team also considered whether these arrangements create a suitable safety culture and compliant approach to H&S across the organisation.



On completion, our team prepared, submitted and presented a draft report with findings and recommended actions for discussion and comment. Feedback and clarifications were incorporated into the final submission. 

A final report was issued to key stakeholders providing a detailed commentary clearly identifying and addressing any critical weaknesses.

The final written report covered:

  • Any recommendations for implementing changes according to priority;  
  • Detailed guidance to be followed for those changes; 
  • Specific roles and responsibilities or expected qualifications and training required for those who will implement the recommendations;
  • An anticipated timescale for implementing the recommendations; and
  • This was then presented to the National Records of Scotland’s Health and Safety Steering Group.



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