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Evaluation of the Recognition Scheme and Fund


Museums Galleries Scotland manages the Recognition Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government. The initiative began in 2006 and is administered by a Recognition Committee who formally recognise and invest in collections of national significance, held in non-national museums and galleries throughout Scotland.

In 2014, MGS commissioned research to chart the development of the Recognition Scheme, which had 41 Recognised Collections across the country at the time of this evaluation.

This research, conducted by DC Research, examines the views of the museums caring for Recognised Collections and others who have been involved in the scheme. The research also examines management, operational procedures, and funding patterns within the Scottish museum sector.

We welcomed the report’s clear recommendations as to how to improve both the Recognition Scheme and Fund. We were also pleased to see the extent to which the aims and objectives of the Recognition Scheme were being met. Most importantly, the report considered the impact of the scheme and the fund – both for those involved and for the wider museum sector in Scotland. 

These are some of the key pieces of feedback we had from the Recognised Collection holders: 


  • Recognition provides collections profile, prestige, and validation – all 32 holders of Recognised Collections noted that this was important to them 
  • Availability of additional funding was reported to be important 
  • Some Recognised Collection holders reported that they would have sought the status even without the access to additional funding – because of the benefits of prestige, status, and profile
  • Other general benefits reported include: confidence and pride in being a Recognised Collection; an increase in community pride due to the status; skills development opportunities due to the status, and funding 

Of the Recognised Collection holders surveyed: 

  • 56% said that going through the application process enhanced their knowledge of and approach to managing their Recognised Collection 
  • 31% emphasised the role of Recognition in wider developments and longer term strategic plans 
  • 63% identified key projects they wouldn’t have been able to implement without the funding
  • 26% conceded that they would’ve been able to carry out some activities supported by the funding even if this hadn’t been available 
  • more than 40% acknowledged that they’ve been able to use the funding to enhance existing projects  
Download the reports
Evaluation of the Recognition Scheme and Fund
(PDF, 925 KB)
Evaluation of the Recognition Scheme and Fund Exec Summary
(PDF, 411 KB)

Contact us

If you’d like to find out more about the Recognition Scheme, please contact our Collections and Interpretation Manager, Jacob O’Sullivan at