Official Reporter
Scottish Parliament

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Ian M

00:00:03 I’m Ian M and I’m an official reporter at the Scottish Parliament.

00:00:08 Well an official reporter means that we produce, I work as part of a team to produce the official report. It’s an authoritative account, the historic record of all the debates and votes in parliament.

00:00:21 As an outsider you probably wouldn’t realise just quite how much you’re changing you know I think you think of the official report you think of Handsard. The sort of a word for word account whereas in fact it’s a substantially verbatim account, so yeah that does mean the editing is probably, we do edit lightly but we probably make more, more changes than I would have realised if there’s a, if someone’s who had never been an official reporter.

00:00:44 It’s publicly available as I say we publish the ATM on the internet the next morning, it’s also available on hard copy, so it’s available to everybody throughout Britain, throughout the world.

00:00:56 My ambition really was initially was to go to university and study politics, cos that’s what I was interested in, so I think I, from certainly probably in my teens that was sort of what I wanted to do, but beyond that I was never quite sure of what, exactly what job that would lead to.

00:01:11 Quite a lot of debating at school, so people the teachers there were very helpful and helped me and sort of fed my interest in politics and in debating, and, then when my parents were happy enough that, you know they didn’t know what, quite what job would come from doing a politics and history degree but they knew that was what I was interested in. And that you know it was, that was right to follow that and I was lucky that my gran was really interested in politics, I’d was always chatting to her about politics so it was, it’s a very natural thing to, do a politics degree.

00:01:42 I’d done some debating, speech making at school and I was able to follow that up at university I, with student debating I actually took part in the world’s student debating championships a couple of times, so that was really good experience you know meeting people from all over the world and just a, very interesting thing to do and quite challenging, quite exciting.

00:02:03 Within the official report there’s the opportunity for becoming sub editor which is the sort of next stage up from the reporter. But to be honest at the moment I’m not really interested in going up to that post because I enjoy the, I enjoy the role I’m doing I enjoy the fact that we get to go and watch committee meetings and get to go and watch little, little chunks of, of parliament, so I find that job that role actually suits me quite well. And we’re good in that all it’s you know obviously a large part of what we do is dominated by reporting but, we are encouraged to as you said earlier for a start we take a lot of responsibility for editorial decision to make. If the editorial changes you have to take responsibility for them, so it’s quite rewarding in that way and quite demanding.

00:02:44 It’s a very good environment I mean it’s obviously exciting just to be you know every, every day you come in and you know some days you’re just doing mundane work reporting a parliamentary committee that’s maybe not the most, not gonna hit the headlines but just to, to know that where you work might very well appear on reporting Scotland that evening, that gives it a certain, gives it a certain excitement and, certainly work in a very good office, it’s very well run, and we’re just, we’re focused and we know that we have to, to do a good job and produce, we have to work hard to meet tight deadlines and always to be efficient and it’s a very, I say it’s a supportive environment in that way.

00:03:32 END

Ian M is an official reporter at the Scottish Parliament. “I work as part of a team to produce the official report of all the debates and votes in parliament… My ambition really was initially was to go to university and study politics”. He says “I enjoy the fact that we get to go and watch committee meetings and parliament.”

More information about Records clerks and assistants

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

30%  male 
70%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

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? Records clerks and assistants maintain and update electronic and/or hard copy documents, correspondence and other records, and organise their storage.
There are no minimum academic requirements, although entrants typically possess GCSEs/S grades or equivalent qualifications. Training is normally provided on-the-job. NVQs/SVQs in Administration at Levels 1 and 2 are available.
  • Examines and sorts incoming material;
  • Classifies, files, archives and locates documents and other records;
  • Copies or duplicates documents or other records;
  • Performs specialised clerical tasks in connection with conveyancing, litigation and the maintenance of medical records.
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