Visitor Services Assistant – Collection Care

Organisation: The National Trust for Scotland

Salary: £21,260 per annum

Location: Brodie Castle

The VSA Collection Care Assistant is responsible for ensuring that the collection at Brodie Castle is looked after and protected.

As a Collections Care Assistant, you will be responsible for the day-to-day care of collections at Brodie Castle , Hoovering and Dusting of the Castle and making sure the Castle is ready for opening to the Public.
The post holder will be responsible for ensuring that best preventive conservation and collections care practices are followed through the implementation of an effective collections care regime in line with Trust policies and procedures.
The role will include engaging with visitors about the collection care work of the National Trust for Scotland when undertaking cleaning activities in the house. The post holder will also work closely with the function and event team ensuring all functions and events are operated in such a manner as to minimise risk to the collection without compromising the event itself.
The post holder will be part of a wider team of employees and volunteers, helping to support the property where necessary.

The Collections Care Assistant is responsible for a wide variety of duties in connection with the care of the property. These duties involve the correct handling and conservation-cleaning of the collections following best-practice at all times and general housekeeping duties throughout the Castle and other buildings.

Specific duties include:

• Best-practice conservation-cleaning of the collections (furniture, metals, ceramics, glass, works of art, textiles, rugs, books, and other artefacts), using property-specific cleaning plans and approved and recommended methods, materials and equipment;
• Conducting a deep conservation-clean of collections & property pre/post-season opening and setting up/putting property to bed pre/post season opening;
• Monitoring the condition of the collections, both through routine, informal checking and formal record keeping (e.g. environmental conditions, pest damage, condition reporting mechanical wear and tear, completing Accidental Damage Reports). Any concerns, damage or loss should be reported immediately to the Duty Manager and the Regional Conservator and Curator;
• Contributing to the Trust’s Integrated Pest Management strategy and facilitating required treatments under the guidance of the Regional Conservator;
• Conservation cleaning of historic fabric surfaces (e.g. window-sills, dado rails, skirting boards, doors) and the vacuuming/cleaning of all floors and staircases as appropriate;
• Informing requirements for conservation and cleaning material/ equipment supplies with assistance from the Duty Manager and Regional Conservator, to ensure adequate sufficient stocks are maintained/ordered;
• Assist/ support with the collection care to facilitate functions and events ensuring safe handling and storage of collections and implementation of appropriate preventive measures.
• Work with Collection Care Volunteers with support and assistance from the Regional Conservator, Curator and Visitor Services Supervisor.
• Adhere to the property’s quality standards including wearing of uniform dependant on the role;
• Ensure health and welfare of property staff, volunteers and visitors by adhering to the Trust’s Health, Safety and Environment policies and guidelines. This includes working within the property’s “Safe System of Work” (the system for managing Health & Safety).
• Develop conservation and collection care knowledge and skills to ensure the highest levels of conservation-cleaning and collections care are adhered to/maintained at the property through attendance at the Trust’s annual Collections Care training programme and any other relevant training courses;
• Continued documentation of the collection to ensure collections records are maintained and up-to-date in line with NTS collections management procedures.

The current duties of this job do not require a criminal records (Disclosure Scotland) check to be carried out.

People Management
• Not a line manager; but will be expected to work with and supervise volunteers at the property assisting with collection care and conservation tasks.
• Will work as part of the property team communicating with and taking direction from the Duty Manager on a daily basis.
• Will work closely with other property colleagues, in particular the tour guides and VSS Collections Care and Volunteers.
• Will also have occasional interaction with other technical/specialist advisory colleagues based in other NTS locations and departments and with external contractors.

External Relationships
• Requirement to communicate and present conservation and collection care activities to visiting members of the public.

Finance Management
• Not a budget-holder but will be expected to take input/ inform material and equipment requirements for effective management of Trust resources in the allocated areas.

• Will be a frequent user of conservation-cleaning materials and equipment which must be well maintained and kept in working order.

The above outlines the key skills the job holder will need to possess and exercise. In addition, either knowledge of or experience in the following is required:

• A good understanding of preventive conservation;
• Previous experience in collection care within a museum or historic environment;
• A keen interest in the National Trust for Scotland and its core values;
• A keen interest in history, historic properties and conservation of their collections;
• Previous experience in housekeeping;
• Good manual dexterity and ability to lift/ carry heavy materials and collections as well as the ability to work from ladders and tower scaffolding;
• Good interpersonal and communication skills;
• Excellent front of house persona- warm, welcoming, patient and understanding, ability to communicate conservation works;
• Ability to work within a team or independently, with minimal supervision to a high standard;
• Experience of working with volunteers;
• Ability to carry out lone-working and ability to do so safely within the property;
• Ability to be flexible, in particular to adapt working patterns and tasks;
• An awareness and understanding of the careful approach required when working with fragile historic interiors and collections.
• Strong organisational skills and ability to manage multiple tasks and prioritise;
• Ability to manage time efficiently;
• Awareness and understanding of the security issues, both personal and property-specific;
• Ability to be proactive and to take the initiative;

• Experience using collection management databases and environmental monitoring software.
• An understanding of health and safety legislation and collections emergency procedures;
• Proficient user of Microsoft Office software;
• Experience in developing event/specialist talks
• First Aid

The Key Responsibilities, Scope of Job, and Required Qualifications, Skills, Experience & Knowledge reflect the requirements of the job at the time of issue. The Trust reserves the right to amend these with appropriate consultation and/or request the post-holder to undertake any activities that it believes to be reasonable within the broad scope of the job or his/her general abilities

Application Deadline: Friday 14/10/2022