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A child plays with a puzzle display in the World Cultures galleries.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to promoting equality and ensuring that no one is denied opportunities or discriminated against through prejudice or exclusion due to factors such as age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.

Everyone should expect to be treated with respect, to be treated fairly and to have the opportunity to reach their potential.

As part of our visitor programming, we take into account the needs of all our potential visitors and look at them as individuals; we do not make assumptions about them. From exhibitions to galleries, from workshops to tours, and from events to our website, we hope to ensure that across all of our museums there is something that will appeal to all our audiences. We have a proven track record in audience engagement and ongoing collaboration with a number of organisations.

This commitment to equality and diversity is also reflected in our employment policies and practices, where consultation is key to new policy development and review.

About the legislation

The Equality Act 2010 brought together many existing anti-discrimination requirements into one overarching piece of legislation. The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force on 5 April 2011 and requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to:

  1. eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other prohibited conduct;
  2. advance equality of opportunity between people who are a relevant protected characteristics and those who do not; and
  3. foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The equality duty covers the following protected characteristics:

  • age
  • disability
  • sex
  • gender reassignment
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, religion or belief
  • sexual orientation

It also covers marriage or civil partnerships, but not for all aims of the duty.

In addition to the general duties Scottish Ministers have the power to impose specific duties on relevant Scottish public bodies. The specific duties came into place on the 27 May 2012 and place additional requirements on listed organisations of which National Museums Scotland is one.

These additional requirements include the development of Equality Outcomes, gathering of employment information, production of a Mainstreaming Report, conducting impact assessments for all new and revised policies, producing equal pay statements and the requirement to undertake pay gap analysis for specified groups.

Equal pay

National Museums Scotland is an equal opportunities employer and, as such, is committed to the principle of equal pay in employment.

National Museums Scotland believes that its male and female staff should receive equal pay for like work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value, and in order to achieve this will endeavour to maintain a pay system that is transparent, based on objective criteria and free from bias.

National Museums Scotland will:

  • on an ongoing basis, monitor all its pay practices
  • provide information to staff on National Museums Scotland pay arrangements
  • ensure that staff are informed about how their own pay is calculated
  • provide suitable training and guidance for those members of staff involved in decisions relating to pay and benefits
  • consult with staff and trade unions on National Museums Scotland’s equal pay policy where appropriate, and
  • inform staff about progress of pay meetings with trade unions and Scottish Government, as required.
National Museums Scotland Gender Pay Gap Report 2024
PDF (216.2 KB)

Equality Outcomes

An equality outcome is a result which we as an authority aim to achieve in order to further one or more of the needs mentioned in the general equality duty. In other words, an equality outcome should further one or more of the following needs: eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.

By focusing on outcomes rather than objectives, this specific duty aims to bring practical improvements in the life chances of those who experience discrimination and disadvantage.

We are required to produce new Equality Outcomes every four years. In developing our new outcomes, for the period of 2021–25, we invited feedback from our visitors, staff and our volunteers relating to their experience of equality, diversity and inclusion at National Museums Scotland to help us ensure our new Equality Outcomes are meaningful and beneficial for all. We would like to thank all those involved for their contributions.

This feedback along with other evidence (e.g. workforce and visitor profiles) enabled us to develop our Equality Outcomes.

Our Equality Outcomes are aligned to our functions as an employer and a service provider.

National Museums Scotland Equality Outcomes 2021 25 Pdf
PDF (232.8 KB)

There is an action plan that supports these Equality Outcomes that we report our progress against every two years in our Mainstreaming Report.

We continue to welcome feedback and suggestions about how we can enhance our services to visitors who share one or more protected characteristics. Feel free to email Kellie Stratford, Organisational Development Manager at

Mainstreaming Report

Mainstreaming equality simply means integrating equality into the day-to-day working of National Museums Scotland. This means taking equality, diversity and inclusion into account in the way we exercise our functions. In other words, equality should be a component of everything we do.

Mainstreaming the equality duty has a number of benefits including:

  • equality becoming part of the structures, behaviours and culture of National Museums Scotland
  • knowing we can demonstrate how we are promoting equality
  • contributing to continuous improvement and better performance

Our 2023 Mainstreaming Report covers the first two years of our Equality Outcomes 2021-2025 reporting period and outlines the progress we have made. It includes our Workforce Monitoring Report and Gender Pay Information.

2023 National Museums Scotland Mainstreaming Report
PDF (838.4 KB)

Equality Impact Assessments

Equality Impact Assessments are designed to ensure that our strategies, policies and plans do not discriminate unlawfully; consider how they might better advance equality of opportunity; and consider whether the policy will affect good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

We carry out Equality Impact Assessments on all our strategies, policies and plans and publish the results here. Copies of specific Equality Impact Assessments can be obtained by sending your requests to

National Museums Scotland Equality Impact Assessments Summary 2021
PDF (218.7 KB)

Get in touch

If you would like more information or have any questions in relation to equality and diversity at National Museums Scotland, please email us at

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