Gaelic Language Plan

Scottish Government's plan to support the promotion of Gaelic throughout Scotland.



This Gaelic Language Plan will formally remain in force for a period of 5 years from this date or until a new Plan has been put in place. In Chapter II - Core Commitments - we have set out the individual target dates for when we expect to implement specific commitments, such as an audit of linguistic ability within the Scottish Government within year one.

Publicising the Plan

The Scottish Government Gaelic Language Plan will be published bilingually on the Scottish Government website. In addition, we shall:

  • issue a press release announcing the Plan;
  • make the Plan known to employees via the Scottish Government Intranet;
  • distribute copies of the Plan to our NDPBs and Agencies, agents and contractors;
  • distribute copies of the Plan to other interested bodies; and
  • make copies available on request.

Administrative arrangements for implementation

This Plan is the policy of the Scottish Government and has been endorsed both by Scottish Ministers and by the Strategic Board of the Scottish Government.

Overall Responsibility

The Permanent Secretary will be responsible ultimately for ensuring that the Scottish Government delivers the commitments set out in this Plan.


The Scottish Government will adopt a devolved approach to the implementation of the Plan and Directors-General will be responsible for ensuring that their staff are made aware of the Plan and how it affects their area of work.

Scottish Government Gaelic and Scots Unit

The Scottish Government's Gaelic and Scots Unit, which is part of the Culture, External Affairs and Tourism Directorate and is responsible for Gaelic policy matters, will be given responsibility for collecting information about the implementation of the Plan and reporting this to the Strategic Board and the Minister for Culture and External Affairs on an annual basis. This report will be made available to Bòrd na Gàidhlig and a summary published on our website. We will also respond to all ad hoc requests on progress from the Bòrd. In the event that the terms of the Plan are not being met, then the report will explain the reasons why and will set out the steps which are being taken by the Scottish Government to address the difficulties.

Individual staff members

Guidance will be produced and be available on the Scottish Government's intranet that explains to staff what the Plan means for them. This general guidance will be augmented as appropriate with information on the handling of Gaelic correspondence, telephone calls and the production of bilingual communications.

Services delivered by third parties -

The Scottish Government will seek to ensure that, where appropriate, agreements or arrangements made with third parties which relate to the delivery of its services to the public are shaped by the terms of this Plan. This commitment includes services which may be contracted out. Where the third party does not have a Gaelic language Plan in place, then we shall encourage them to follow the terms of the Scottish Government Gaelic Language Plan and to ensure that their staff are informed of the terms of the Plan.

The relevant contract manager will be responsible for monitoring the performance of the service provider in relation to any arrangements made for the Gaelic language. This will be carried out as a normal part of the contract management process.

Resourcing the Plan

The Scottish Government will make appropriate provision for the resourcing of this Plan, in respect of those services delivered directly by us. Our NDPBs and Agencies, agents and contractors will be responsible for arranging to meet the costs of implementing their own Gaelic language Plans.

Monitoring of implementation

In monitoring implementation of the Scottish Government Gaelic Language Plan, we will focus on the following areas in particular:

  • Scottish Government policies and how they impact on Gaelic development;
  • the implementation of specific core commitments in Chapter II, such as the amount of correspondence received in Gaelic, the amount responded to in Gaelic, and response time;
  • the contribution being made towards implementation of the National Plan for Gaelic as set out in Chapter III;
  • details of materials published in Gaelic whether in whole or in summary form;
  • the quality of the service provided by the interpretation/translation providers including response times;
  • reviewing qualitatively how effectively the Scottish Government is taking the Gaelic language into consideration in its day-to-day running;
  • the nature and number of comments received regarding the delivery of the measures contained in the Plan;
  • the number of Gaelic users (at various levels of fluency and with various skills) in the Scottish Government;
  • the amount of Gaelic language learning being undertaken by Scottish Government staff;
  • the number of posts advertised by the Scottish Government where a certain level of Gaelic are included in the job description and details of how these posts were filled;
  • the progress being made by Scottish Government Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies towards development of their own Plans.


Email: – Central Enquiry Unit

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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