By the end of the year proposals should be in place for Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) for conservation. And Historic Scotland intends to insist that craftsmen hold them if they are to work on grant-aided projects.
England and Wales already have conservation modules for NVQs but Scotland does not. The Scottish Stone Liaison Group - a group that brings together designers, users, extractors and processors of stone - wanted conservation SVQs and was instrumental in getting the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to convene a meeting of various trades to develop the idea.
Work is now progressing on that and proposals for the modules should have been produced by the CITB before the end of the year.
Historic Scotland, which gives grants for conservation schemes, intends to insist on such qualifications being held by the people working on projects it supports.
It has already said that within two years it intends to insist that architects working on conservation projects it supports will have to hold appropriate conservation qualifications and it believes the same requirement should apply to the people actually carrying out the work.
Ingval Maxwell, a director of Historic Scotland, has often complained at the lack of traditional building skills available for conservation. Insisting on craftsmen holding SVQs in conservation would ensure that appropriate training was taking place.