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Information for Recognised Collection holders

Please note, the ordinary business of the Recognition Scheme – including Status Reviews – is currently paused, pending the Scottish Government’s response to the recent review of the Recognition Scheme.

Scotland’s Recognition Scheme celebrates, promotes, and invests in Nationally Significant Collections beyond those held in our national museums and galleries. 


An important aspect of managing a Recognised Collection is reporting back to us, the Recognition Committee, and the Scottish Government on the current status of your Recognised Collections. This is done in two ways – annually through Annual Returns, and every five years through a Status Review. As a result of your Status Review, the Committee will provide a set of recommendations to focus on before your next one is due.

Annual returns

Each organisation that cares for a Recognised Collection is asked to complete an Annual Return. 

The Annual Return is a set of questions that cover a 12-month period. The information we gather provides MGS (and other stakeholders) a comprehensive picture of the work of the Collections and information on how they have performed against the objectives of the Scheme. The responses provide examples of developing practice to inspire future plans and encourage collaborative working. Annual Returns also help to strengthen our advocacy work for the Recognised Collections.

When your organisation is due a review, we will email your Recognition contact with a link to the survey. We will provide at least a months’ notice of the deadline – which is at the end of May.

We realise that each organisation has their own planning calendars but in order to have responses that are consistent across organisations, and allow us to analyse the returns, the information requested relates to the previous financial year April – March. 

A report of our findings is produced once we have analysed the data from your Annual Return. We then publish these reports below.

View the Recognised Collections Annual Returns:

Recognition Annual Return 2014_2015 Report(PDF, 1MB)Recognition Annual Returns 2015_16(PDF, 5MB)Annual Returns report 2016_17(PDF, 4MB)Annual Returns report 2018_2019(PDF, 2MB) 


Annual Returns from previous years are available on request. 

Status review

The Recognition Committee reviews the status of each Recognised Collection once every five years. Significant disposals from, or a disaster involving a Recognised Collection will trigger an immediate review by the Recognition Committee. 

This is a more extensive process than Annual Returns. Status Review is a report that outlines why your Recognised Collection should maintain its status.

The first round of status reviews was carried out in autumn 2015. 

How to prepare for a status review

You’ll be asked to submit a concise report outlining why the status of your Recognised Collection should be maintained prior to your Status Review. This is not a reapplication process. 

Your report should cover: 

  • whether the Collection is still eligible 
  • whether there have been any major additions and/or disposals since Recognition status was awarded and how have these affected the importance and/or quality of the Recognised Collection 
  • a description of the curatorial provision for the collection and whether this has changed since Recognition status was awarded 
  • how collections knowledge has been improved since award of Recognition status (e.g. what research, exhibitions, publications, collaborations, etc. have been undertaken)
  • what impact Recognition status has had on the reputation of the Collection and organisation 
  • how the Recognition logo is being used in the museum and on promotional material such as your website 
  • a discussion of the demand for loans from the Collection, and whether this changed since Recognition status was awarded 
  • how engagement with the Collection has changed since Recognition status was awarded 
  • the benefits Recognised status has brought for the Collection and the organisation
  • any relevant information regarding the organisations efforts to achieve the Recognition Scheme objectives 

Your report will be presented to the Recognition Committee, who will decide whether your Recognised Collection still meets the criteria to maintain its status. You may be given recommendations for areas of improvement as a result of your Status Review.