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Vocational Pathways Fund

This is a time limited programme set up with additional funds from the Scottish Government specifically to support the development of vocational training across the Scottish museum sector

About the fund

This fund has been introduced to address the need for good quality, affordable vocational training that will increase access to the Scottish museum sector for those to whom it has previously been quite closed, and develop progression routes for existing staff.  In doing so it will help to diversify the sector workforce and address identified skills gaps so as to enable the Scottish Museum sector to thrive in the future.

In order to achieve this, the fund will be used to fund projects that either:

1. build the infrastructure of the sector to increase its capacity to facilitate work-based vocational learning at all levels identified in the Vocational Pathways Framework.

Eg. training up assessors to be able to assess internal and external staff for vocational qualifications in a geographic area 

or setting up assessment centres

2. Pilot ways of addressing the gaps identified in the Vocational Pathways Framework  (ie. where there is currently no qualification)

 Eg. working in partnership with local colleges to deliver foundation apprenticeships

or developing qualifications that tackle gaps in the framework

All projects will need to demonstrate that they will have a benefit for the whole museum sector, not just the participating organisations. Eg. If a project sets up a foundation apprenticeship that apprenticeship will then be available for other museums to use.


We will accept applications from organisations running Accredited museums in Scotland or from organisations working in partnership with organisations running Accredited museums in Scotland.

We define partnerships as;

"An agreed relationship between two or more organisations with a shared vision who gain mutual benefit from working together to achieve common goals."


Applicants may apply for up to £20,000 for projects. Match funding is not required but it is expected that organisations will invest staff hours and other non-cash contributions into the project

When to apply

This is a rolling fund and we can accept applications at any time up until Monday 19 February 2018. Applications will be assessed as they are received and applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within 6 weeks of submitting it.

All successful applicants must start their project within 6 months of receiving the award and will normally have 36 months from the date of award to complete their project. They must submit their final claim within 2 months of project completion.

How to apply

You must contact MGS to discuss your project ideas and their suitability for the fund before submitting an application.

To discuss project ideas please call Catherine Cartmell on 0131 550 4135 or

Applicants should be made through MGS Online

Apply via MGS Online

Assessment criteria

Your application will be scored against how well it meets each of the following criteria and the score will determine whether or not your project can be awarded funding:

Alignment with the Vocational Pathways Framework

We will look at how well your project meets an identified skills or infrastructure gap as detailed in the Vocational Pathways Framework

Legacy for the sector

We will look at your plans to ensure that your project will benefit the museum sector and contribute to the national infrastructure for a vocational pathway. We want to see what the legacy from your project will be and clear plans to ensure that it can be used by other organisations


We will be looking to see that you have planned all the necessary resources and activities to deliver the project and outcomes you have described.

What we can't fund

  • Skills development projects addressing areas not identified in the Vocational Pathways Framework. This fund cannot be used to develop specialist qualifications, we are looking for generalist qualifications that have a broad application in the sector.
  • Projects that have already started, or will start before our published decision date (this does not include preparatory work)
  • Continuations or repeats of projects we have funded before unless it can be demonstrated that there is new work taking the project on to another stage with new benefits to be gained
  • Salaries for existing staff unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the work is additional to their normal hours. It is expected that applicants will commit staff hours to the project as an in-kind contribution


Catherine Cartmell
Skills Development Manager
Telephone: 0131 550 4135

Gillian Simison
Investment Manager
Telephone: 0131 550 4115

Conditions of award

Any offer of funding will be made under the following general conditions:

Accepting and using your award

  • You must formally accept your award of funding by completing the steps set out in MGS Online, located at .
  • You must not begin spending money on the project for which you have applied for funding until you have received confirmation of permission to start from MGS. You will be notified of permission to start via
  • Any information you give to us must be accurate and correct.
  • You must update us as soon as possible in the event that any of the information given to us changes.
  • In the event of a change to that information which is material, we reserve the right to withdraw funding or withhold further funding and/or require you to repay funding already paid over to you.
  • Any money spent by you is spent at your own risk. Our obligations are only to you, and we shall not be obliged to meet any costs or expenses due to any third parties.
  • We will not be liable to any third party in respect of the project. You indemnify and shall keep us indemnified against any third party claims or liabilities relating to the project. This indemnity shall not apply where such claim or liability arises due to our negligence or willful misconduct.
  • You must use the funding for the purposes set out in your application form, which we have approved.
  • You must not make any changes to the project for which you have applied for funding without our written permission.
  • If you apply funding to other purposes or change the project without our consent, we may withhold further funding, and/or require you to repay funding already paid over to you.
  • You must complete the project within 36 months of the award of funding being made unless otherwise agreed in writing by us.
  • You must ensure that your project is delivered to the highest possible standard, following recognised good practice. Where relevant, you must use suitably qualified individuals. For example, if your project involves collections conservation work this should be carried out by an accredited conservator.
  • You must keep and use any equipment and other resources purchased with the funding for the purpose indicated in your approved application for at least five years from your project start date. If you cease to use or dispose of resources purchased using the funding during that period, we may require that the funding is paid back to us.
  • You must maintain in good repair and keep safe any equipment and other resources purchased using your funding. This includes providing appropriate storage and insurance, and paying any ongoing licensing or hosting fees.
  • You must ensure that necessary knowledge and skills are retained within the organisation to perform the funded project and maintain its legacy as described in your application.
  • You must retain Accreditation as a Museum or Gallery under schemes administered by us for at least three years following completion of your funded project.
  • If you are receiving funding from the Recognition Fund you must ensure that you continue to meet the requirements of the Recognition Scheme including appropriate use of the Recognition Logo, completion of annual returns and participation in status reviews. The requirements of the Recognition Scheme are available from us on request.
  • You must ensure that there is a contactable signature authority and primary contact assigned to the funded project for the duration of the project and update us immediately of any changes to these contacts.
  • Unless we agree otherwise, you must advertise (outside your organisation) all new posts and tender for any goods, services and works to be paid for by the funding over £5,000. You must follow Scottish Government Procurement Guidelines.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that all policies, procedures, licenses, consents, permissions and insurances necessary or advisable in relation to the project, to meet legal or other requirements, are in place, and ensure the safe and effective delivery of the project at all times.

Claiming your award

  • We will pay the funding only to the organisation named as the recipient in the award letter.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that we are supplied with the correct account details and reference to make payments for the award.
  • All funding will be paid as set out in our award letter. Retrospective funding will be paid on receipt of completed claim forms and the required proof of expenditure by you. Normally this shall consist of copies of receipted third party invoices.
  • We will not pay out against any costs incurred prior to the date on which we approved your funding award.
  • All funding must be claimed within two months of your stated project completion date.
  • You must ensure claims are complete and accompanied by all of the supporting evidence we require.
  • We may request further information from you prior to making any funding payment.
  • You must spend all of the funding allocated to you within the project period. If you are unable to spend all or part of your funding within the project period set out in your approved application you must contact us as soon as you become aware of this and tell us why. We may or may not approve spending out with the project period, and funding relating to this.
  • If you do not spend as much on your project as indicated in your application the amount that you can claim from us will be reduced proportionately. Any funds claimed from us that are not spent must be returned to us. If we have paid you too much, you must refund the excess payment.
  • If you receive additional funding for your project from sources not stated in your application you must inform us.

Project monitoring

  • We will monitor project progress and you must;
    • provide scheduled project progress reports by the dates stated at the time of accepting your award;
    • provide any other progress updates that we may request within timescales requested;
    • provide access to your project and the records relating to it if we choose to do an onsite visit; and
    • follow any recommendations that we make resulting from our monitoring of your project.

Project evaluation

  • You must gather sufficient relevant information on your project as it progresses to ensure you are able to evaluate its success against its defined goals on completion.
  • You must supply an end of project report within two months of your agreed project completion date, unless agreed otherwise, and in a format agreed by us.
  • Final claims will not be paid out until an end of project report has been received and approved.
  • You must provide us or any external contractor commissioned by us with requested information regarding your project during you project and for a period of up to three years after project completion.
  • All funding recipients must be prepared to share the learning from their project. If we request you must share your learning online, or supply a contact who would be able to discuss your experience with representatives from other museums or galleries who may be interested in carrying out similar work.

Promoting your award

  • You must acknowledge our support by including our logo on all publicity and marketing materials relating to the project. A copy of the logo can be acquired by emailing You must follow any guidelines and requirements we provide to you regarding the use of our logo.
  • When producing materials that feature our logo copies of those materials should be sent for approval to our Marketing Manager at We will endeavour to respond within 7 days of receipt. You must not use those materials until you have our approval.
  • We will be permitted to publicise the award to your project in whatever way we deem appropriate.
  • You grant us the irrevocable right to use any images, information or materials concerning the project in connection with the operation of our business. This may include reproducing the same for the purposes of publicity, to illustrate our activities, or to report to governmental or other organisations. You shall obtain all necessary permissions, licenses and consents to allow you to do this.

Digital assets

  • You should use your best endeavours to retain beyond project completion any information and/or materials created through the provision of the funding and provide access to the same to third parties if requested by us.

Confidentiality and data protection

  • You must maintain any information we provide to you, or to which you gain access, as confidential, and use it only for the purposes of performing the project.
  • If you provide any information to us you wish to remain confidential this must be expressly stated upon that information. We will use our reasonable endeavours to maintain it as confidential however, you acknowledge that we are under various obligations and have various requirements as regarding disclosure of that information, including pursuant to freedom of information legislation.
  • We will adhere to the provisions of applicable data protection legislation. You are obliged to adhere to the provisions of applicable data protection legislation, including by taking reasonable technical and organisational security measures to prevent unauthorised access to or destruction of personal data held by you. If you breach or alleged to have breached applicable data protection legislation you must notify us as soon as possible. Any information provided by you to us will be processed by us to (i) administer the funding allocated to you, and (ii) in connection with the monitoring and evaluation of our business