The Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014 establishes the functions to be undertaken by Historic Environment Scotland. This includes activity covered by secondary legislation or regulation that deals with designation and change management for the historic environment.
A list of the full suite of regulations that applies and the processes that are to be followed are set out in Historic Environment Circular 1: Historic Environment Circular 1. The activity associated with carrying out these functions is delegated to the Heritage Directorate and the delegated decision making levels for the activity is set out below.
Our performance is monitored annually via a planning performance statement that is approved by the HES Board for submission to Scottish Government. You can see our latest statement here: Historic Environment Scotland’s Role in Planning


The designations team has delegated authority to deal with all cases submitted to us. In exceptional cases advice may be sought from the Director of Heritage.
All statutory decisions are taken either by the Head of Designations or one of the three Deputy Heads of Designations. We consult with owners, occupiers and tenants as well as local authorities on potential new designations and these decisions are first ratified at designations team meetings. In exceptional cases a decision may be taken by the Director of Heritage.
Non-statutory minor changes to records, such as text updates or adding photographs, can be taken by Designation (C) or Senior Designation Officers (D).
Table of Designation Types


The casework team has delegated authority to deal with all casework reaching us. In exceptional cases advice may be sought from the Director of Heritage. Staff are employed within bands C-F. Band C staff do not have delegated decision-making.
All casework output where we are making comments is signed off at Deputy Head level or above. This protects quality control and maintains consistency.
Cases which are innovative, high profile, controversial or otherwise challenging are discussed internally before a final view is taken.
Table of Case Types