Building Surveyor

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £38,557 - £42,479 pro-rata, per annum & EBCU £3,800 per annum

Location: Crathes (Hybrid)

Who we are

The National Trust for Scotland is an independent charity set up in 1931 for the preservation and conservation of natural and human heritage significant to Scotland and the world.

The National Building Conservation Team are a forward-looking team of buildings professionals who are passionate about caring for the Trust’s diverse portfolio of structures both historic and modern. Although we are one of the Trust’s Central teams, managed from Trust HQ at Hermiston Quay, individual team members are dispersed across all parts of the Scottish mainland, supporting 4 Regions and our role is all about collaborating and supporting local Operations Teams.

Our Regional Offices are:

• Edinburgh & East: Hermiston Quay, Edinburgh
• Highlands & Islands: Balnain House, Inverness
• North-East: Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire
• South & West: Culzean Castle, South Ayrshire / Greenbank House, Glasgow

The role of the Trust’s Building Conservation Team is to provide professional and technical building and conservation knowledge and support across all aspects of the care and maintenance of our buildings.

What this job is about

The Building Surveyor is the senior buildings and conservation professional in each Region. The Building Conservation Team delivers direct support to the regional management and operations teams, under the management and supervision of the Head of Building Conservation.

Each Region is supported by a Building Surveyor and a Maintenance Surveyor, who between them support Trust property and conservation operations by delivering conservation maintenance activities to ensure that our buildings are fit for purpose, safe and welcoming for our visitors, meet legislative standards of compliance and deliver the Trust’s charitable purposes. The Team operates through a consultancy model with Building and Maintenance Surveyors aligned to a client group of properties to allow them to develop expertise in the history, significance, care, and operation of those properties. Working in collaboration and consultation with operations teams and in response to condition reports, our surveyors programme and commission appropriate consultancy services and contractors to deliver required works. You will undertake condition surveys, identify, and diagnose defects, specify and schedule works and develop options for remediation. This includes ensuring that all works specifications, contracting and project management and construction activities are compliant with legislation and Trust technical, Health & Safety and Conservation standards and policies.

As the senior surveying specialist and knowledge bearer within each region or property portfolio, the emphasis is on leading the conservation and care of the built environment, compliance against policy, statutory and legislative frameworks internally and externally (e.g. CDM, planning, health & safety, building control, environment, and conservation practice).

What we want you to be responsible and accountable for

You will work under the day-to-day operational management of the Lead Conservation Surveyor, who in turn reports to the Head of Building Conservation. You will be supported directly by the Buildings Support Manager, Buildings Assistant and the Head of Building Conservation Policy. You will work most closely with the Regional Maintenance Surveyor to identify defects and respond to operational requests, research, plan and deliver appropriate solutions for any building related issues.

You will be required to:

1. Understand and continually refresh your knowledge of the significance, condition, and operational requirements of the buildings in your area and the Trust’s Conservation Principles and other policies and statutory requirements that impact on our buildings.
2. Undertake surveys, identify defects, and make recommendations for imminent and future works to improve, maintain and conserve the significance and operational utility of buildings and sites in the most environmentally sustainable way.
3. Lead, manage and input into the production of research and property plans in relation to built assets and their future care, use and operation.
4. Produce options appraisals, work plans, schedules, specifications, and tender documents.
5. Manage procurement exercises in collaboration with our Procurement Team.
6. Develop, monitor, and manage project budgets.
7. Develop, project manage and act as Contract Administrator for conservation, maintenance and improvement projects including ensuring that all necessary statutory applications are lodged and approved with any conditions discharged.
8. Provide information in support of grant applications and the management of grant funded works.
9. Provide support and information to the Health & Safety Team in relation to compliance matters including but not limited to: CDM, contractor management, fire safety, environmental management and DDA.
10. Compile and keep under review property information appropriate to each property and all building activities undertaken in your Region.

How we would like you to achieve this

We need you to:

• Work in a way that is wholly consistent with our stated organisational values, our Corporate Strategy, and our emerging Buildings Care Strategy.
• Work collegiately across the Building Conservation Team, and collaboratively with colleagues across the Trust.
• Become familiar with and maintain your knowledge of the Trust’s systems and processes and the work of other departments.
• Apply best practice in building conservation and management of all building activities, having cognisance of industry standards and best practice, regulation and statutory requirements and the Trust’s internal policies and procedures.
• Obtain and maintain a working knowledge of all statutory requirements related to your work.
• Be solutions driven, seeking collaborative ways to achieve project aims while ensuring that our buildings receive the highest possible standard of conservation.
• Work flexibly and within reason attend sites and other NTS offices as and when required, sometimes requiring overnight stays away from home.
• Keep good records relating to your activity and be able to use these swiftly to produce meaningful management information that can inform our decision-making.
• Be a good communicator and influencer. You need to be entirely comfortable and confident with creating and delivering engaging reports, formal papers, presentations, and activities for different internal audiences (from front-line staff to director/CEO/board level, as well as for external stakeholders). We use the Office 365 suite, and you will need to be a competent user of this family of IT tools.
• Support your colleagues and share your knowledge and experience with them to develop their skillset.

Who you will be working with

You will be part of the Central Building Conservation Team which acts as a cohesive team providing mutual support and advice and seeking common solutions across our built estate.

• Your line and operational manager will be the Lead Conservation Surveyor.
• Your team leader will be the Head of Building Conservation.
• Your closest working colleague will be the Regional Maintenance Surveyor.
• You will be supported in team by the Buildings Support Manager, Buildings Assistant, National Maintenance Lead, Head of Building Conservation Policy and the other regional surveyors.

You will cooperate and collaborate with a wide range of specialists in other teams across the Trust including in particular (but not limited to):

• Operations Teams – experts in the management and operation of our visited properties and their day-to-day care and compliance.
• Regional management – in particular the Regional Director and Business Manager.
• Estates Team – experts in the management of let and tenanted properties.
• Collections management and curatorial teams – experts in the conservation of objects and interiors and the presentation of properties for visitors.
• Health & Safety Team.
• Finance Team.
• Procurement Team.
• Legal and Insurance Team.
• You will be supported by the Trust’s People, IT, Coms, and other teams.
• You will also work with, and lead hybrid teams made up of internal specialists and external consultants and contractors.

The Buildings Conservation team structure these roles in red

The budget you would hold

• None. You will not be a budget holder, but you will use the Trust’s finance, project, and expense systems for transactions and monitoring/reporting purposes. You will be required to advise on and produce estimates for project budgeting purposes and manage expenditure against approved budgets.
The experience and skills you need to have to do this job


1. A Chartered Building Surveyor or Architect (we will also consider equivalent professional qualification) with at least 2 years’ post qualification experience and proven experience and ability across the work activities described in this job description. Please contact us if you are unsure whether your qualification is appropriate to this role.
2. A collaborative, solutions driven approach to supporting internal customers and problem solving, with a caring, respectful, and inclusive attitude to others.
3. Excellent organisational skills – flexible and able to multi-task and juggle tasks to ensure priorities are met.
4. Ability to work without supervision, prioritise workload and manage time effectively.
5. Full driving licence for use in UK.
6. MS Office proficient user.


• AutoCAD user.
• Recognised Building Conservation Accreditation.
• Recognised post-graduate qualification in building conservation.
• Familiarity with the NTS Estate.
• Knowledge of housing standards applicable to residential tenancies.

Just so you know…
• The Trust has a set of Values we would ask you to work within, and these apply to everybody in the Trust irrespective of their role or job. You can find out more here:
• This means we want you to have:
o The ability and willingness to understand others’ perspectives and to consider the impact of your actions on them and to adapt your actions as necessary.
o The ability and willingness to learn and try new things, to be flexible and step outside of your comfort zone.
o An open and honest way of communicating, ready to ask others for their ideas and to be open to hear and consider different points of view.
o A pro-active approach to taking initiative and to driving forward ideas and projects designed to improve daily operations and deliver an exceptional visitor experience.

Application Deadline: Sunday 18/06/2023