2017 has been a remarkable year for Registers of Scotland. We’ve delivered new products and services, celebrated major milestones, and continued to provide a proficient and professional land registration service for the people of Scotland. Here are just a few of the highlights.
Celebrating 400 years
One of the defining themes of the year has been commemorating the history of land registration in Scotland. In June, we marked the 400th anniversary of the General Register of Sasines, the oldest national land register in the world. It’s a testament to the enduring strength of property ownership in Scotland, and I’m proud to have led RoS during this important year. It was particularly special as we hosted the Registrars of Title Conference, the first time it had been held in Scotland. It was a pleasure to welcome so many innovative professionals from around the world to Scotland, and thank you to all those who joined us for this special occasion.
We’ve made substantial strides in our digital transformation this year. In October, we launched ScotLIS, a new land and information service for Scotland. It’s an innovative step forward for RoS, and allows professionals, citizens and communities to access comprehensive information about any piece of property in Scotland. Thanks to ScotLIS, RoS can greatly increase the accessibility of land data for many years to come.
Also introduced this year was the Digital Discharge Service (DDS), the beginning of our work around digitising the property registration processes. DDS is a landmark in our digital transformation, and brings considerable improvements in efficiency and security to the discharge of standard securities. It’s been a great success so far, and will influence our work in rolling out additional improved services in 2018.
Data and our registers
Elsewhere in the business, we’ve enhanced how we use the vast amount of data we hold on Scotland’s land and property. A major development here is our contribution to the monthly UK House Price Index (HPI) releases, which allows Scotland’s housing trends to be seen in a wider UK context. Data will be a key theme for 2018, when we’ll be bringing even more expert analysis to the businesses and people of Scotland.
Our registers are at the core of our business, and we’ve continued to provide an effective service, processing hundreds of thousands of applications throughout 2017. We’ve also increased the number of registers under our care, with the Landlord Register added to the 17 existing registers.
Internally, we’ve continued to develop as an organisation to provide a more effective and efficient service for our customers. A big highlight was the move of our Glasgow office to its new location at St Vincent Plaza (SVP). SVP champions both digital first and smart working, and is the prime location for us to build our digital transformation from the ground up. We also recently hosted our very first Innovation Month, which was a huge success in providing some great ideas on how we can build on big ideas and grow as an organisation.
As you may have seen, I’ve recently announced my decision to step down as Keeper in March 2018. I would like to close by extending my thanks to all my colleagues at RoS whose hard work was instrumental in transforming RoS during my tenure as keeper, and to our stakeholders and customers for their support over the past nine years. Your input has been essential in our work to make RoS an innovative, customer-focused, 21st century land registration organisation.