The Ranger Development Partnership

The Ranger Development Partnership is a partnership between SCRA and a selection of Ranger employers, managers and organisations that influence Rangering on a political and national level.

Background

In 2006, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) announced that it wished to coordinate a Ranger Review – a review of the Rangers in Scotland policy statement agreed in 1995 which determined the direction and funding support for Scotland’s Rangers over the intervening 11 years. This review should also reflect the revised ‘Enjoying the Outdoors’ policy document. Changing political and environmental issues had meant that the profession needed to respond in new ways to the new context within which Rangers play a key role, and a refreshed vision and aim for Ranger Services was deemed to be needed.

SNH was keen that the new policy on Rangers should not be an SNH policy – but a more inclusive statement of nationally agreed aims for Rangers and Ranger Services in Scotland. This was in response to the SEARS partnership – the Scottish Environmental and Rural Services grouping. This grouping meant that a range of Governmental bodies involved in managing the natural and cultural heritage of Scotland, several of whom are direct Ranger employers as well as funders, were now working in much closer partnership and it was appropriate that the new policy on Rangers should reflect the aims of all the SEARS family, as well as the needs of employers. Alongside the SEARS partners of SNH, Forestry Commission Scotland, The Cairngorms National Park Authority, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and Historic Scotland, partners were also invited to the Ranger Review representing Private Estates employing Rangers (Hoddom and Kinmount Estate), the National Trust for Scotland, Local Authorities (represented by CoSLA) and SCRA as an independent body representing Rangers from across employers and across Scotland.

Whilst initially, the purpose was to refresh and revise the way in which SNH managed their grant relationship with Ranger Services and review the aims and objectives of this, an announcement in late 2007 from the Scottish Government meant that the grant aid relationship between SNH and Local Authorities would come to an end in 2009. Until this point, SNH had grant aided Ranger Services approximately £3m a year; the Government announcement meant that £2.2m of this, which was given to local Authorities, would now be dived between Authorities directly by Central Government via the new Single Outcome Agreement process.

The Ranger Review concluded and the policy document ‘Rangers in Scotland’ was published, outlining the vision and aims that all Ranger Services should follow and their core roles.  

Work of the Partnership

SCRA felt that the partnerships formed during the Ranger Review should continue, and, in light of the SCRA Development Plan, SCRA’s desire to play a key role in the support of the profession in Scotland, and the reduced influence that SNH played (as a result of no longer grant aiding a large number of services across Scotland), there was a need to deliver support to the profession to maintain a nationally identifiable and cohesive role for Rangers in Scotland.

Today, the Ranger Development Partnership and SCRA have;

  • Undertaken a significant body of work to identify Core Skills and Competencies of Rangers across Scotland
  • Linked these Core Skills and Competencies to National Occupational Standards
  • Reviewed current induction procedures and made recommendations to support employer indication of Ranger Staff
  • Piloted and launched a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to help foster and support a robust, well-trained and effective Ranger Service and support employers and individuals in securing the best for the profession
  • Developed and run Ranger Rendezvous – Scotland’s largest ever gatherings of Rangers
  • Influenced decisions at a political level by engaging directly with Scottish Ministers
  • Developed the Ranger Standards Manual as an online resource to support the profession
  • Developed a new Countryside Portal and website to support Countryside Professionals and Rangers across Scotland
  • Facilitated annual meetings of the Ranger Managers’ Forum.

Much of this work is detailed on this website.

Members of the Partnership

Currently, the Ranger Development Partnership draws membership from:

  • Scottish Countryside Rangers’ Association