Welsh Language Standards Compliance: Annual Report 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019


1. Introduction

1.1. Compliance notice
1.2. Format of this Annual Report

2. Highlights

2.1. ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ awards
2.2. Continued high number of staff improving their Welsh-language skills and successfully taking Welsh-language exams
2.3. Increase in Welsh-language enquiries and visitors
2.4. Improved opportunities to use Welsh on our online services
2.5. Review of the Welsh language complaints procedure
2.6. Excellent Staff Survey results for supporting the Welsh language

3. Priorities for April 2018 – March 2019

3.1. Continue to support staff to enable them to comply with the Welsh Language Standards
3.2. Continue to provide Welsh-language training
3.3. Scope the use of Cof Cyfieithu

4. Compliance and promotion

4.1. Service Delivery (Standards 1-9; 11-14; 16-17; 19-22; 24-34; 36; 43-48; 51-55; 57-60; 63-66; 72-73A; 75-80; 82)
4.2. Policy Making (Standards 84-89; 91-93)
4.3. Operational (Standards 94-108; 110-12; 114-17; 120-33; 135-39)
4.4. Record Keeping (Standards 141-48)
4.5. Supplementary (Standards 149-68)

5. Statutory reporting

5.1. Complaints
5.2. Staff Welsh language skills
5.3. Training provided in Welsh
5.4. Recruitment

6. Priorities for April 2018 – March 2019

6.1. Continue to support staff
6.2. Continue to provide Welsh Language training for staff
6.3. Scope our possible contribution to Cof Cyfiethu

Appendix 1: Self-regulation checklist Appendix 2: Thematic studies – request for information


1. Introduction

This Annual Report is produced under the Welsh Language Measure (Wales) 2011 and Welsh Language Standards (No. 2) Regulations 2016.

 

1.1. Compliance notice

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (‘the Commission’) received its compliance notice for the Welsh Language Standards in July 2016. The majority of the standards came into force on 25 January 2017 whilst the remaining standards (2, 3, 21, 48, 52 and 101-07) had an imposition date of 25 July 2017.

1.2. Format of this Annual Report

In April 2018, the Welsh Language Commissioner provided a template for self-regulation. This template was used by the Commission’s Welsh Language Monitoring Group as the basis for last year’s Annual Report, and we will continue this practice. (Please find the completed 2018-19 check-list as Appendix 1.)
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2. Highlights

The reporting period, 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, was the second full year for the Commission to comply with the Welsh Language Standards. We have concentrated on consolidating the work done preparing for compliance and continued to support staff in embedding the standards into their everyday work.

 

2.1. ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ awards

The Royal Commission was delighted to win the ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ (Ceredigion, Powys & Carmarthenshire) Employer Award 2018. The Commission was also very proud of, and congratulates, our member of staff who won the ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ learner of the year award, and our two members of staff who were runners-up.

2.2. Continued high number of staff improving their Welsh-language skills and successfully taking Welsh-language exams

During 2018-19, almost half of our staff embraced the opportunity to further their language skills by attending various Welsh-language courses during work time. Our staff are committed to improving their Welsh-language skills and we are proud of the five members of staff who successfully passed the Sylfaen exam in June 2018.

2.3. Increase in Welsh-language enquiries and visitors

This year we have seen a significant increase in the annual number of Welsh-language enquiries received. It has risen from approximately 1.2% in 2015-16 to 11% during the reporting year. A similar percentage of Welsh-language visitors have visited our Library and used our archive during 2018-19, and 60% of those attending as part of group visits completed the Welsh feedback form.  

2.4. Improved opportunities to use Welsh on our online services

Even though the Commission has received an exemption for ‘descriptive text from the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) database, such as on the Coflein website’ (Standard 48), whenever possible, Welsh descriptions will be added to the database.

For example, during the reporting period, work commenced on uploading bilingual descriptions of battlefield sites in Wales to our database. The descriptions were created as part of a project, funded by Cadw, to create an inventory of historic battlefields in Wales. Further bilingual descriptions are planned for 2019-20 as part of our preparations for the 2019 National Eisteddfod. 

2.5. Review of the Welsh language complaints procedure

The Commission undertook a review of the Welsh language complaints procedure, which saw it being incorporated into the main Complaints Policy. By having these in one document, clearly signposted on the “Corporate Information” section of the website as well as in our Library and Search Room, complaints about the Welsh language are mainstreamed and considered as part of our overall services.

2.6. Excellent Staff Survey results for supporting the Welsh language

The 2019 Staff Survey included two questions regarding the Welsh language, both of which scored highly again. “The organisation is committed to supporting the Welsh language to thrive” improved another point to the impressive score of 97 out of 100. The second question, “I get sufficient support to assist me in implementing the Commissions Welsh Language Policy” scored 86 out of 100 – an increase of 3 from the 2017 Staff Survey.
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3.  Priorities for April 2018 – March 2019

Building on our already embedded practices, we have continued to provide high-quality bilingual services and introduced new ways of working in some areas. All the priorities set by the Monitoring Group, and endorsed by the Operational Team and Commissioners, for the reporting year were successfully completed.

 

3.1. Continue to support staff to enable them to comply with the Welsh Language Standards

Support has been ongoing, with very positive (informal) feedback from staff and excellent results in the 2019 Staff Survey. The Commission updated its complaints procedure, which includes complaints regarding the Welsh language, and provided detailed staff guidance and training. Following the success of the informal Q&A sessions with staff in January 2019, these will now become an annual event. To support new staff joining the Commission, the induction process has been finetuned throughout the year.

3.2. Continue to provide Welsh-language training for staff

A full programme was offered to staff, at various levels of fluency, during work time and free of charge (either through Cymraeg Gwaith or through individually tailored training).

3.3. Scope the use of Cof Cyfieithu

The use of Cof Cyfieithu (translation memory software) was explored, but we cannot see the benefit for the Royal Commission at current cost due to the nature of our work, which is mostly ‘creative’. Instead, it was agreed to focus on promoting the agreed terminology which was drafted and used for Coflein and the Historic Environment Records but not yet widely shared.
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4. Compliance and promotion

After two years of observing the Standards, staff have embedded the requirements into our everyday working in all aspects of their work. 

 

4.1. Service Delivery (Standards 1-9; 11-14; 16-17; 19-22; 24-34; 36; 43-48; 51-55; 57-60; 63-66; 72-73A; 75-80; 82)

The Commission provides a bilingual service to the public. We are committed to ensuring an equal service through the medium of Welsh or English. Where required, new working practices were established as part of our implementation of the standards (please see previous reports for details). No new working practices were introduced during this reporting period.

Further details of our normal working practices and the services we provide to our Welsh-speaking customers can be found in our Welsh Language Policy (https://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/welsh-language/welsh-language-policy-2017-19/).

The following paragraphs (4.1.1 – 4.1.3) describe examples of the ways in which the Commission continues to comply with the standards and promotes its Welsh-language services.

4.1.1. Correspondence and telephone communications

When we receive Welsh-language correspondence, if an answer is required, we issue a reply in Welsh within the same target time as replying to correspondence received in English. Correspondence from us will state that we welcome receiving correspondence in Welsh whilst our bilingual electronic signatures also identify Welsh speakers.

To ensure all our staff can answer the telephone with a bilingual greeting, training is offered to staff who require support. The Commission’s automated system for its main telephone number offers callers the option to speak to a member of staff in Welsh and all our answerphones have bilingual recorded messages.

We were pleased to note the significant increase in the annual number of Welsh-language enquiries received during 2018-19.

4.1.2. Meetings, visits and public events

The Commission’s Welsh-speaking staff continue to wear a badge and/or lanyard to convey that they are able to provide a Welsh-language service. Several of our learners also wear a ‘Dysgwr’ lanyard. This increases the opportunities for them to use and practice their language skills in the workplace.

The Commission promotes all its events bilingually and prepares bilingual promotional material and information, e.g. exhibition panels, for the public. Revised information leaflets currently being prepared will include the Iaith Gwaith ‘Cymraeg’ symbol to promote our Welsh language services.

As part of our outreach programme, we have continued to provide bilingual activities for children at our events and hosted group visits to our Search Room. Group visits during the reporting period included Welsh-medium school pupils and adult Welsh learners. During the reporting year, 60% of those attending as part of a group visit completed the Welsh feedback form.

4.1.3. Online services

To improve our services, whenever possible, we act upon feedback received from the public. This year, one of our users highlighted a lack of clarity in the subscription process for our blog. A new page was added to our bilingual corporate website (https://cbhc.gov.uk/tanysgrifiwch-i-newyddion-treftadaeth-cymru/ and https://rcahmw.gov.uk/subscribe-to-the-heritage-news-of-wales/) to promote our blog, Treftadaeth Cymru (https://cbhc.gov.uk/newyddion/) / Heritage of Wales (https://rcahmw.gov.uk/news/). The new page incorporates clearer links to enable users to select to receive our news feed in either Welsh or English. Currently, 42 (3%) of our followers have selected to receive the Welsh version of our blog.

The Commission has continued to provide an active bilingual presence on social media (Facebook and Twitter).

It was a pleasure to receive a comment by a member of the public on our ‘brilliant Celtic language tweeting’ for our European partnership project, CHERISH, funded by the European Ireland-Wales Co-operation Programme 2014-2020.

Due to the way our online analytics accounts are currently set up, it is difficult for us to separate Welsh- and English-language traffic on our websites. To gain some information on our audiences’ language choices we have looked at the information captured by Google Analytics on the language setting of browsers used by those accessing our websites. These figures show a 51% increase in browsers set to Cymraeg accessing the Commission’s corporate website (cbhc.gov.uk / rcahmw.gov.uk) for the first 6 months of 2019, compared to the first 6 months of 2018, and a 56% increase in browsers set to Cymraeg accessing Coflein (coflein.gov.uk) for the first 6 months of 2019, compared to the first 6 months of 2018.

During the coming year, the Commission will continue to look for opportunities to promote its Welsh-language services.

 

4.2. Policy Making (Standards 84-89; 91-93)

The Commission is committed to the Welsh language throughout all its policies and activities.

4.2.1. Responsibility

The responsibility for assessing new or revised policies, initiatives and services lies with the Operational Team (senior management) before they are endorsed by our Board of Commissioners. 

4.2.2. Formulating, reviewing or revising policy

To ensure new policies, initiatives and services will be consistent with the requirements of the Welsh Language Standards, when formulating, reviewing or revising policy, the Commission considers the effects, if any (whether positive or adverse), on opportunities for individuals to use the Welsh language. We consider how we can make a policy decision that has a positive effect on opportunities to use the Welsh language and we ensure that the Welsh language is treated no less favourably than the English language.

A Welsh Language Impact Assessment Framework was established as part of our implementation of the standards. During the reporting period, Welsh Language Impact Assessments were carried out on the Commission’s Complaints Policy and the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure.

 

4.3. Operational (Standards 94-108; 110-12; 114-17; 120-33; 135-39)

To ensure compliance with the operational standards, the Commission reviewed and revised several of its internal documents and policies, and updated procedures prior to our Compliance Notice’s imposition dates.

4.3.1. Providing bilingual documents to our staff

All the documents listed in the relevant Standards were revised and available to staff in Welsh and English meeting our Compliance Notice’s imposition dates.

During the reporting period, 67% of newly appointed members of staff chose to receive their employment documents in Welsh.

4.3.2. Staff Welsh-language skills

A Welsh-language skills audit was carried out during the reporting period. Please see section 5.2 for further details.

4.3.3. Welsh-language training (Standards 126-27)

The Commission strongly encourages and supports staff to learn Welsh and to develop their language skills. During the reporting period:

  • 18 members of staff (47%) attended weekly Welsh language lessons during working hours, the majority as part of the Cymraeg Gwaith scheme.
  • Three members of staff attended a one-week intensive Welsh course, arranged by Cymraeg Gwaith, at Nant Gwrtheyrn.
  • Two members of staff attended the annual Summer School in Aberystwyth.
  • One member of staff started the ‘Welcome Back Work Welsh’ online course and one member of staff completed the ‘Welsh in the Workplace’ online course. Both are Cymraeg Gwaith resources.

 

4.4. Record Keeping (Standards 141-48)

The Commission’s current registry filing system continues to be used to keep all records regarding the Welsh Language as stated in our Compliance Notice.

 

4.5. Supplementary (Standards 149-68)

4.5.1. The following documents are available on the Commission’s website:

Compliance Notice, with a copy available in the Library and Search Room in order to notify the public (149, 155, 161, 167).

Compliance Document, which explains how the Commission intends to comply with all the standards with which it is under a duty to comply (153, 159, 165).

Complaints Policy, which sets out how to contact us with a concern or complaint, and the procedure that the Commission will follow in considering complaints (150, 156, 162).

Welsh Language Policy (151).

This Annual Report (152, 158, 164).

4.5.2. Ensure effective monitoring of the Welsh Language Standards

Monitoring occurs both informally, by individual members of the Monitoring Group, and formally through the quarterly meetings, reporting to the Operational Team and Commissioners. The monitoring group also prepared an action plan to support the delivery of its priorities.

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5. Statutory reporting

5.1. Complaints

No formal complaints were received during the reporting period.

5.2. Staff Welsh-language skills

A Welsh-language skills audit was carried out during the reporting period. Staff were asked to self-assess their language skills for listening/speaking, reading/understanding and writing (level 0 = no Welsh language skills, 5 = proficient) using the ‘Can Do’ statements on the ALTE Framework.

The results showed that out of 38 staff in post at that time:

  • 38 staff (100%) had some level of skill in Welsh;
  • 21 staff (55%) had skills assessed as level 3 and above;
  • 17 staff (45%) had skills assessed at below level 3;
  • 11 staff (44%) had skills assessed as having improved since the last survey in 2017;
  • 17 staff (57%) have noted improved skills since assessments started in 2016.

5.3. Training provided in Welsh

During the reporting period no training courses were provided in Welsh on the topics listed in standards 124 and 125. Enhanced safe working at heights training was procured for the Commission’s Investigators and CHERISH Project team, and members of staff attending requested it to be held in English. However, a diversity training course was provided bilingually and was attended by 30 staff.

 

5.4. Recruitment

5.4.1. Staff

During the reporting period, three new and vacant posts were advertised, all requiring some Welsh-language skills. Of these:

  • two were advertised as requiring Welsh skills to at least level 4; and
  • one was advertised as requiring Welsh-language skills to at least level 1 or needing to be learnt after appointment.

All new appointments received an induction outlining their duties and responsibilities under the Welsh Language standards. Of the three new appointments, two selected to have their employment documents in Welsh.

5.4.2. Commissioners

The Commission also undertook recruitment of a new Chair and two new Commissioners during the reporting period. Of these:

  • one (the Chair’s post) was advertised as requiring Welsh skills to at least level 3 for reading and writing, and at least level 5 for understanding and speaking; and
  • two were advertised as Welsh-language skills being desirable to at least level 3 for reading and writing, and at least level 5 for understanding and speaking.

The Commission was pleased to recruit two fluent Welsh speakers, increasing the percentage of Welsh speakers on the Board of Commissioners from 11% to 22%.
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6. Priorities for April 2019 – March 2020

The priorities for 2019-20 will include the following:

6.1. Continue to support staff

We will continue to support staff, especially newly appointed members of staff, to embed the Standards. We will review our policy on using Welsh internally, focusing on the promoting and facilitating the use of the language in the workplace.

6.2. Continue to provide Welsh-Language training for staff

We will continue to provide a suite of Welsh-language training options to increase staff skill levels. This will be available both to learners and to Welsh speakers who wish to develop their written Welsh. We will also arrange a pronunciation session.

6.3. Promote the use of Welsh across the heritage sector

We will offer leadership in the use of Welsh across the historic environment sector by promoting the use of the agreed Welsh-language terminology prepared as part of work to develop standards for the sector, and will share it amongst professionals, including translators.
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Appendix 1: Self-regulation checklist

RECORD KEEPINGYes / NoComments / Action identified
The Royal Commission (RCAHMW):
Keeps a record of the number of complaints it receives relating to its compliance with the standards;YesKept on Registered File. See Annual Report.
Keeps a copy of every written complaint that it receives relating to its compliance with the standards;YesKept on Registered File. See Annual Report.
Keeps a copy of every written complaint that it receives that relates to the Welsh language;YesKept on Registered File. See Annual Report.
Keeps a record of the steps that it has taken to ensure compliance with the policy making standards.Yeshttps://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/welsh-language/compliance-document/
The Royal Commission (RCAHMW):
Keeps a record of the number of employees who have Welsh language skills, and the level of those skills where it has that information;YesKept on Registered File.
Keeps a record of every assessment in respect of the Welsh language skills that are required for new and vacant posts;YesKept on Registered File.  
Keeps a record of the number of new and vacant posts which were categorised as posts where Welsh language skills are essential, desirable, not necessary, or need to be learnt;YesKept on Registered File.  
Keeps a record of the number (and percentage, if relevant) of staff members who attended specific training that must be provided in Welsh if it is available in English (namely training on recruitment and interviewing, performance management, complaints and disciplinary procedures, induction, dealing with the public, and health and safety).YesKept on Registered File.  
PROMOTING ARRANGEMENTSYes / NoComments / Action identified
The Royal Commission (RCAHMW):
Has published a document on its website recording all the standards with which it is under a duty to comply (e.g. by publishing a copy of its compliance notice);Yeshttps://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/welsh-language/
Has published a complaints procedure on its website.YesUpdated during 2018-19.

https://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/policies/complaints-policy/
The complaints procedure notes how the organisation will:
Deal with complaints about its compliance with the standards;Yes
Train staff to deal with those complaints.YesTraining sessions were held during 2018-19.
The Royal Commission (RCAHMW) has arrangements for:
Overseeing its compliance with the standards with which it is under a duty to comply;YesWelsh Language Monitoring Group
Promoting the Welsh language services that it offers in accordance with the standards;Yes
Facilitating the use of the Welsh language services that it offers in accordance with the standards.Yes
The Royal Commission (RCAHMW):
Has published a document on its website that records its arrangements for overseeing, promoting and facilitating;Yeshttps://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/welsh-language/welsh-language-policy-2017-19
Has published a document on its website which explains how it intends to comply with the standards with which it is under a duty to comply.Yeshttps://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/welsh-language/compliance-document/
ANNUAL REPORTYes / NoComments / Action identified
The Royal Commission (RCAHMW):
Has published a Welsh language standards annual report on its website by 30 September (no later than 6 months following the end of the relevant financial year);Yeshttps://rcahmw.gov.uk/welsh-language-standards-compliance-annual-report-1-april-2018-31-march-2019
Has publicised the annual report.YesNotice on Twitter, Facebook and to Friends network.
The annual report:
Deals with the way in which the organisation has complied with the different classes of standards imposed upon it;Yes
Includes the number of employees who have Welsh language skills;Yes
Includes the number (and percentage, if relevant) of staff members who attended specific training that must be provided in Welsh if it is available in English (namely training on recruitment and interviewing, performance management, complaints and disciplinary procedures, induction, dealing with the public, and health and safety);Yes
Includes the number of new and vacant posts categorised as ones where Welsh language skills are essential, desirable, not necessary, or need to be learnt;Yes
Includes the number of complaints the organisation received about each class of standards.Yes

To download this document as a PDF, click here: Welsh Language Standards Annual Report 2018-19

Mae’r ddogfen hon hefyd ar gael yn y Gymraeg | This document is also available in Welsh.

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