May has been a busy and exciting month for all of us at Registers of Scotland, with everything from new services, conference visits and awards dominating the headlines.
This month, we published the results and analysis of the responses to the recent public consultation on our digital future. The consultation ran from November 2016 to February 2017 and set out our digital objectives, including proposals for some new digital services, such as discharges (see more below), securities and dispositions, that will revolutionise some of the most important areas of our business, and allow us to provide a more effective service to our customers. I’d like to thank all those who took part for their valuable insight into the future of RoS.
Another exciting development this month was the launch of our Digital Discharge Service (DDS). DDS improves upon the existing paper-based service by offering a digital process in which the work of the discharge requesters, lenders and RoS are centralised in a single online portal. The service has been a great success since entering its beta development phase a few months ago, and is one of the major projects we’re undertaking as part of our digital transformation. For more information, visit the DDS section of our website.
Also released in May was an updated version of our land register application form. In the new form, the agent’s details have been moved to the top, so that they’re visible for postal delivery, while other data fields remain the same. It may seem a minor update, but it’s one we’re very pleased with, as it was based on real user feedback, and epitomises our dedication to continuously improving our services with our customers in mind.
RoS on the public stage
We’ve had busy calendars this month, with a number of visits and conferences on the agenda. I represented RoS at a joint conference of the Permanent Committee on the Cadastre and EULIS (European Land Information System), hosted in Malta. The event focused on current technological trends in land registration; it was a great opportunity to connect with our European colleagues, while also discovering the innovative approaches they’re using to meet the challenges of 21st century land registration.
RoS has also played host to several important guests this month. In Edinburgh, we welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee to discuss land registration, while our new Glasgow office was visited by the British Institute of Facilities Management, who were keen to see the innovative new space we’ve created at St Vincent Plaza.
Elsewhere, we were delighted to receive the award for Supporting Organisation of the Year at Homes for Scotland’s annual awards. The award recognises our innovative Development Plan Approval service, which has proved a vital contribution to the Scottish new-build property market. We’re delighted with the award, and I’d like to congratulate not only our staff for their effort and dedication, but also the customers and stakeholders who worked with us to develop and deliver such an effective service.
FORE!Hundred – a smashing success
RoS rounded off May with our FORE!Hundred charity golf tournament, held as part of our 400th anniversary celebrations. Hosted at Gleneagles on the picturesque Queen’s Course, the event witnessed dozens of participants coming together in glorious sunshine for an 18-hole Texas scramble tournament followed by dinner, prize-giving and a raffle. It was a great turnout for the day, with everyone enjoying a round of golf in such a spectacular setting, plus an evening of good food and company. And best of all, we raised over £4,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support.
It’s exciting times for our celebrations marking 400 years of land registration in Scotland. This month, we released the first two instalments in a four-part series sharing Scotland’s sasine stories, showcasing some of the fascinating historic chronicles held in Scotland’s property records. We’ve already featured Aberdour Castle and Crathes Castle – be sure to visit our blog for more intriguing locations.
And finally, at the end of next month are the official ceremonies commemorating the 400th anniversary of the sasine register. We’ll be marking this historic milestone with events at both our Edinburgh and Glasgow offices – I hope to see many of our friends and colleagues there, and we’ll be sharing more information on the events in the weeks ahead.