Chair: Andy Robertson, East Lothian Council Archaeology Service
Vice-Chair: Kevin Murphy, Western Isles Council Archaeology Service
Treasurer: Quinton Carroll, Cambridgeshire County Council 
Ordinary member: Bruce Mann, Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service
Ordinary member: Kirsty Cameron, Highland Council

ALGAO Scotland Annual Summaries

The Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) Scotland represents Archaeologists working for, or on behalf of, Local Government and National Parks in Scotland and whose task is to protect, manage and promote the historic environment. Our members provide services to 28 of the 32 Local Authorities in Scotland and the two National Parks. Some of the key roles carried out by ALGAO Scotland members are;

  • maintenance of Historic Environment Records (HERs)
  • to advise on strategic development and local development plans and policies
  • to advise planning authorities and developers on planning proposals that may affect archaeological sites, including input into development design
  • monitoring compliance with planning requirements including conditions on behalf of planning authorities
  • to advise on the management of the rural and urban historic environment
  • working with all elements of the community to foster understanding of the historic environment
  • where resources permit, to lead community-based projects to explore the local historic environment, and through this contribute to skills development, learning and community cohesion

Each year information about the work carried out by ALGAO Scotland members is gathered through an annual survey, the results of which are submitted to Scotland’s Historic Environment Audit (SHEA) and Measuring Success. The information from ALGAO Scotland, along with information from other organisations helps to build a picture of the Historic Environment in Scotland. The results from the annual survey for 2018/19 indicate the substantial and wide-ranging body of work carried out by the Local Authority Archaeologists and a snapshot of the impact of some of the work is highlighted in the infographics below.

2013 - ALGAO:Scotland Historic Building Recording Guidelines

ALGAO:Scotland have pulled together the current guidance documents to try to give a measure of consistency across Scotland as to what is required in respect of Historic Building Recording levels. The aim of this guidance is to refine the current guidelines into a more user friendly set of recording levels and to attempt give a greater consistency to the recording of historic structures across Scotland.

This guidance acknowledges and builds upon the Historic Building Recording (HBR) guidelines set out by the RCHME in 1996 and RCAHMS in 1997 with reference to the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) 1997 document Analysis and Recording for the Conservation and Control of Works to Historic Buildings; the Standard and Guidance for the archaeological recording of standing building and structures published by the Institute of Field Archaeologists (IFA) in 2001; English Heritage’s 2003 publication Measured and Drawn: Techniques and practice for the metric survey of historic buildings; Historic Scotland’s Guide for Practitioners-Measured Survey and Building Recording (2003), Understanding Historic Buildings: A guide to good recording practice by English Heritage (2006).

2013 - Scotland's Historic Environment Data (SHED) Strategy

The SHED Strategy is a sector-wide initiative to improve access to information about Scotland's historic environment.

The key aim is to work in partnership in order to protect, promote and enhance Scotland's historic environment through coordinated activity to improve the data, and the associated systems and processes.

The partnership includes government agencies, non-government organisations and academic institutions, but also supports the public's involvement in the care and enjoyment of the historic environment through better records. The Strategy is being undertaken under the umbrella of the SMR Forum, which brings together many of the bodies that create and maintain records about Scotland's historic environment.

The Strategy is now available on the SMR Forum Scotland website at

2009 - Local Authority Archaeological Liaison Project

This partnership project between RCAHMS, ALGAO:Scotland and HS looked at a range of issues common to both RCAHMS and Local Authority archaeology services. Three reports are available:


ALGAO:Scotland Historic Building Recording Guidance
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ALGAO:Scotland Infographic 2013-14
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ALGAO:Scotland Infographic 2016-17
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ALGAO:Scotland Infographic 2017-18
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ALGAO:Scotland Infographic 2018-19
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News and updates

ALGAO logo

Before the Museums project: Opportunity to Tender


Delivery of Public Benefit and Social Value for Archaeology in the Planning Process

In February 2023 the National Planning Framework 4 in Scotland introduced new wording which more clearly describes the requirement for public benefit outcomes where impacts on the historic environment by development cannot be avoided.