Introduction for Professionals

This section is particularly aimed at officers responsible for preparing and implementing Gaelic language plans.  You will find more detailed information by following the tabs below.

Gaelic language plans are prepared to increase the capacity of an organisation to support the usage, status and acquisition of Gaelic as part of its functions.

Key to achieving this is the introduction and mainstreaming of Gaelic into policy development, service delivery and other organisational activities. The broad outcome is to make Gaelic increasingly visible and audible across Scotland.

Purpose of Gaelic Language Plans

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was passed with a view to securing the status of Gaelic as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language, and the public sector in Scotland has a vital role to play in ensuring that Gaelic remains alive as a language and recovers in future.

Gaelic language plans enable members of the public who may wish to use Gaelic in conducting their daily business with the public authority and enables employees of the public authority to use Gaelic in the workplace as part of their normal duties.

Gaelic language plans help ensure that Gaelic continues to be used and that the linguistic diversity of the whole of Scotland is enriched.

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 passed by the Scottish Parliament on 21st April 2005 with cross-party support and received Royal Assent on 1st June 2005. The introductory text to the 2005 Act reads as follows:-

An Act of the Scottish Parliament to establish a body having functions exercisable with a view to securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language, including the functions of preparing a national Gaelic language plan, of requiring certain public authorities to prepare and publish Gaelic language plans in connection with the exercise of their functions and to maintain and implement such plans, and of issuing guidance in relation to Gaelic education.

The 2005 Act gives Bòrd na Gàidhlig the authority to issue a statutory notice to any relevant Scottish public authority, cross-border public authority or the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, requiring that authority to prepare a Gaelic language plan, setting out the measures it will take in relation to the use of the Gaelic language.

National Gaelic Language Plan

Bòrd na Gàidhlig prepares and publishes a National Gaelic language plan at no later than 5 yearly intervals.

The 2005 Act specifies that a public authority must have regard to several statutory criteria when preparing its Gaelic Language Plan.

Public authority Gaelic language plans are one of the principal mechanisms to implement the National Gaelic Language Plan.

Equal Respect

Section 3(1) of the 2005 Act requires that Bòrd na Gàidhlig undertakes its functions with a view to securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland, commanding equal respect to the English Language.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig works to secure equal respect between Gaelic and English and expects that public authorities will demonstrate in their plans how the principle will be achieved and maintained in practice.

Preparing Plans

Plan Implementation

Language Planning in Other Countries