2.1. Our bilingual enquiries services reopened in person
2.2. We published our bilingual book on Wallpaintings
2.3. We promoted our work through the Welsh media
2.4. We promoted Welsh in the workplace to secondary school pupils
2.5. We took part in the Eisteddfod AmGen
2.6. Staff continued to improve their Welsh-language skills
2.7. We promoted Welsh Language Rights Day
3.1. Continue to support staff to enable them to comply with the Welsh Language Standards
3.2. Continue to provide Welsh-language training for staff
3.3. Review our translation services
3.4. Promote the use of Welsh across the heritage sector
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)
This Annual Report is produced under the Welsh Language Measure (Wales) 2011 and Welsh Language Standards (No. 2) Regulations 2016.
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.
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 the Annual Report, and we have continued this practice. (Please find the completed 2021–22 check-list as Appendix 1.)
Back to top
The reporting period, 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, was the fifth full year for the Commission to comply with the Welsh Language Standards. The year was still dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and home working. This report sets out how we made sure that we continued to provide a bilingual service, promote the Welsh language, and support staff to comply with the standards.
Once COVID-19 restrictions eased, our newly refurbished Library and Search Room reopened one day a week, by appointment, from 1 July 2021. We also continued to answer remote enquiries. This year 5.7% of the people contacting the Royal Commission with a request for information did so through the medium of Welsh. This was up from approximately 1.2% in 2015–16 but did not reach the 20% we received in 2019–20. We hope to see this rising again once things return to normal.
November 2021 saw the publication of our new book, Painted Temples: Wallpaintings and Rood-screens in Welsh Churches, 1200–1800 by Richard Suggett (Senior Investigator – Architectural Historian). Where some of our books are published in two separate language-editions, we decided to publish Painted Temples bilingually. This gives equal prominence to both Welsh and English, and helps learners or those not fully confident in choosing the Welsh-only version. On the back of this experience, we are now advising Historic Scotland on best practice for producing bilingual publications.
Two members of staff were interviewed on Radio Cymru during the year: Dr Ywain Tomos (Libraries and Enquiries Assistant) talked about the links between Welsh heritage and Japanese film, while Marisa Morgan (Public Engagement Assistant) presented our Unloved Heritage youth project.
In July 2021 we took part in the online Career Discovery Week organised by Careers Wales. Rhodri Lewis (Library and Enquiries Assistant) and Marisa Morgan spoke with pupils in years 8, 9 and 10, discussing what it’s like to work in the humanities and how important the Welsh language is in the workplace.
We again had a strong profile at the Eisteddfod AmGen, the virtual Eisteddfod event, where we partnered with the National Slate Museum. We provided a bilingual online exhibition on wallpaintings (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4380578332000172&type=3), as well as two Welsh-language talks: Dr Meilyr Powel discussed “Ugain Adeilad yr Ugeinfed Ganrif” / “Twenty Twentieth Century Buildings” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJik7hzaFZo), whereas Gerallt D. Nash spoke about “Murluniau Eglwys Sant Teilo, Llandeilo Tal-y-bont” / “The Murals of St Teilo’s Church, Llandeilo Tal-y-bont (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuajgaoRaPw).
Despite working from home, during 2021–22 more than a quarter (26.5%) of our staff continued to attend various online Welsh-language courses during work time. Additionally, six colleagues who are Prospect Union members received a year’s membership to Say Something in Welsh, paid via the Welsh Union Learning Fund, to support their learning in class with home-based learning.
We published a blog and created a series of videos to promote our Welsh-language services, launch our Welsh in the Workplace Policy, and celebrate Diwrnod Hawliau’r Gymraeg / Welsh Language Rights Day (7 December 2021). To see Rhodri Lewis and Marisa Morgan in conversation about how to use the Welsh language with the Royal Commission, you can watch the videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbKw_Ere5rvS3a89IrtDR5_OvaR4NdGrx
Building on our already embedded practices, we have continued to provide high-quality bilingual services during the year.
The Monitoring Group continued to be active, circulating guidance and keeping staff informed of activities. We successfully completed the ongoing activities noted in our action plan, which was endorsed by the Operational Team and Commissioners. Further work on some of the strategic aims will be carried forward to 2022–23.
During 2021–22 the Commission focused on the following priorities:
Support has been ongoing. We provided guidance on reviewed procedures while homeworking. We also held our annual Question & Answer session to raise awareness of the Welsh language, explain how to operate in accordance with the Standards, and promote the use of Welsh in the workplace. All new members of staff have been informed of the Welsh Language Standards through their induction programme. 2021–22 also saw the publication of our Welsh in the Workplace Policy, launched on Diwrnod Hawliau’r Gymraeg. This document sets out the Commission’s policy on using Welsh internally for the purpose of promoting and facilitating the use of the language.
A full online programme was offered to staff, at various levels of fluency, during work time and free of charge.
Due to the retirement of our main translator, we reviewed our use of translation services. We created a wider pool of translators and established a new contract for everyday translation services.
Whenever possible the Commission promotes the use of the Welsh language within our sector, including at conferences and events.
Back to top
The Commission provides a bilingual service to the public and continued to do so despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to ensuring an equal service through the medium of Welsh or English. 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.
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.
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 changed phone provider during the year so cannot access data for the full year, but between 1 February and 31 March 2022, 16% of phone enquiries were through the medium of Welsh. (This is up from 14.5% in 2020-21.)
Due to COVID-19, there were no in-person meetings, visits or public events this year. Instead, these all remained online. Our monthly lecture series proved incredibly popular and included a Welsh-language talk by Dr James January-McCann on “Pedair Blynedd o’r Rhestr Enwau Lleoedd Hanesyddol Cymru” (“The List of Historic Welsh Place Names – Four Years On”). The talk was subsequently subtitled and made available on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJccnH93BA0) and has been viewed 173 times since July 2021.
We also supported the Explore Your Archives campaign (22-26 November 2021) with a week-long lecture series, including three Welsh-language talks by Lucie Hobson (National Library of Wales), Dafydd Gwyn (Ffestiniog Railway Archives) and Dr Meilyr Powel (Lloyd’s Register Foundation). (For more information on our contributions to the Eisteddfod AmGen, including an exhibition and talks through the medium of Welsh, see 2.5 in the Highlights section above.)
The Commission promotes all its online events bilingually. Newsletters for our EU-funded, Ireland-Wales climate change project CHERISH, also continue to be produced bilingually in Welsh/English as well as in English/Irish.
We maintained the high level of our social media output, which included publishing 70 bilingual blogs throughout the year. Some of these resulted in media coverage, including from Radio Cymru who interviewed colleagues about the links between Welsh heritage and Japanese film and our Unloved Heritage youth project.
We also published 36 new videos to our YouTube channel, 10 in Welsh, 26 in English. These ranged from a virtual tour of our Library and Search Room and videos promoting our Welsh-language services to live-stream recordings of our Digital Past conference and public lectures. The overall number of views was 18.7k (compared to 25.4k in 2020–21), with an increase in female and younger viewers and from a wider range of countries.
On social media we continued to run campaigns using Welsh-language hashtags such as #LlunDyddLlun and #MeddwlMawrth across both Welsh and English accounts. We posted 644 bilingual posts on Facebook, and across our four bilingual Twitter accounts we tweeted and replied more than 3,000 times. This focus on communicating with our audiences on the platforms they choose to use led again to a steady increase in followers: 17% increase on Facebook (9,514 to 11,141), 18% increase on Twitter (11,338 to 13,369).
The Commission is committed to the Welsh language throughout all its policies and activities.
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.
To ensure that 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, a Welsh Language Impact Assessment was carried out on the Commission’s new Welsh in the Workplace Policy.
To ensure compliance with the operational standards, the Commission continues to review its internal documents and policies. This year we published our Welsh in the Workplace Policy 2021–23 (Standard 94).
This year we developed an Intranet, which we did not previously have. Each page is available in Welsh and English, every Welsh-language page is fully functional, the Welsh language is treated no less favourably than the English language, and we have designated a page which provides services and support material to promote the Welsh language and to assist our staff to use the Welsh language.
All the documents listed in the relevant Standards were available to staff in Welsh and English. During the reporting period, all externally appointed members of staff were offered their employment documents in Welsh. (See also 5.4. Recruitment.)
A Welsh-language skills audit was carried out during the reporting period. Please see section 5.2 for further details.
In terms of post requirements, 25 members of staff (69%) have the minimum level of Welsh required for their post. This is down 2% from last year. However, this compares to only 14 (44%) in 2017.
The Commission strongly encourages and supports staff to learn Welsh and to develop their language skills. During the reporting period:
Staff also use online tools such as Duolingo and Say Something in Welsh to fit in their learning outside of work. The current Duolingo record among staff stands at a lesson a day for more than 500 days!
In principle, 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. However, due to homeworking, this was in abeyance until February 2022 while online systems were being updated to accommodate remote access.
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).
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. During the reporting year, homeworking made it more difficult to carry out informal monitoring. However, within those limitations, we are monitoring as well as we can and are confident of compliance.
We continued to attend meetings and events organised by the Welsh Language Commissioner as well as with fellow Welsh Language Officers.
We responded to the Welsh Language Commissioner’s draft Code of Practice consultation and submitted a self-assessment questionnaire to provide more robust evidence of compliance.
Back to top
No formal complaints were received during the reporting period.
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 36 staff in post at that time:
During the reporting period no training courses were provided (in either Welsh or English) on the topics listed in standards 124 and 125.
During the reporting period, ten vacant posts were advertised,
only one of which was advertised internally only. Seven posts were advertised with Welsh-language skills as essential (two at level 1, two at level 3 and three at level 4), three posts with Welsh-language skills as desirable (all at level 3). Five fluent Welsh-speakers were appointed, plus an advanced learner.
All external appointments received an induction outlining their duties and responsibilities under the Welsh Language standards. They were also offered their employment documents in Welsh.
Back to top
The priorities for 2022–23 will include the following:
We will continue to support staff to enable them to comply with the Welsh Language Standards while working at home during this unprecedented time and to support newly appointed members of staff to embed the Standards.
We will continue to provide Welsh-language training options to increase staff skill levels (via distance learning until staff are able to attend classes again).
We will incorporate the commitments set out in our Welsh in the Workplace Policy by providing opportunities for staff to use Welsh internally and encourage a bilingual working environment.
Back to top
|RECORD KEEPING||Yes / No||Comments / Action identified|
|The Royal Commission (RCAHMW):|
|Keeps a record of the number of complaints it receives relating to its compliance with the standards;||Yes||Kept on Registered File. See Annual Report.|
|Keeps a copy of every written complaint that it receives relating to its compliance with the standards;||Yes||Kept on Registered File. See Annual Report.|
|Keeps a copy of every written complaint that it receives that relates to the Welsh language;||Yes||Kept on Registered File. See Annual Report.|
|Keeps a record of the steps that it has taken to ensure compliance with the policy making standards.||Yes||https://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;||Yes||Kept on Registered File.|
|Keeps a record of every assessment in respect of the Welsh language skills that are required for new and vacant posts;||Yes||Kept 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;||Yes||Kept 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).||Yes||Kept on Registered File.|
|PROMOTING ARRANGEMENTS||Yes / No||Comments / 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);||Yes||https://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/welsh-language/|
|Has published a complaints procedure on its website.||Yes||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.||Yes|
|The Royal Commission (RCAHMW) has arrangements for:|
|Overseeing its compliance with the standards with which it is under a duty to comply;||Yes||Welsh 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;||Yes||https://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/welsh-language/welsh-language-policy-2020-22|
|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.||Yes||https://rcahmw.gov.uk/about-us/corporate-information/welsh-language/compliance-document/|
|ANNUAL REPORT||Yes / No||Comments / 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);||Yes||https://rcahmw.gov.uk/welsh-language-standards-compliance-annual-report-2021-22|
|Has publicised the annual report.||Yes||Notice 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 2021-22
Mae’r ddogfen hon hefyd ar gael yn y Gymraeg | This document is also available in Welsh.
|This document is available under the Open Government Licence.|