The SBIF Review (Sept 2016 – Nov 2018) has evaluated the options for service provision, in country-governance, funding source and community funding to create a blueprint for improving the biological recording Infrastructure in Scotland.

Through this Review, the recording community in Scotland are facilitating a way forward for the biological recording infrastructure that has long been at an impasse between the desire to maximise the use and value of its data versus the ever-present need to cover operating costs.


Business Case for Change

Following 18 months of information gathering, the business case sets out the current situation and presents 24 recommendations that, if adopted, will bring many benefits for all sectors and stakeholders and address the issues identified through the Review.

The business case has been welcomed by BRISC:

“Biological Recording in Scotland (BRISC) strongly supports the publication of A Review of the Biological Recording Infrastructure in Scotland by the Scottish Biodiversity Information Forum (SBIF). This important review summarises a huge amount of work that shows how biological recording in Scotland can be organised and managed in the future which will ensure that Scotland is a world leader in monitoring and documenting its biodiversity. BRISC is excited by the suggested outcomes of the review and urges government to adopt and implement the recommendations.”

Chris McInerny, BRISC Chair, November 2018

Downloadable documents

   SBIF Review Final Report

A Review of the Biological Recording Infrastructure in Scotland

[80 pages, 3MB]

SBIF Review Summary Note


Review process

The review identified 12 different roles played by people involved in biological recording and investigated what is working well and less well across all sectors with an interest in biological recording.

The perspectives of 48 influential stakeholders, 290 responses to a public questionnaire and the findings of four cross-sectoral workshops on data flow, services, governance and funding have given an unprecedented level of insight into problems that have persisted for over 40 years and that are today limiting Scotland’s contribution to almost all the Aichi Targets.

Outputs from the review are summarised in the following documents and diagrams

Next steps

Following the launch of the Review on 14th November 2018, and time for discussion with key stakeholders, the SBIF Advisory Group will develop an appropriate strategy and Implementation Plan with view to securing funding and progressively fulfilling the recommendations – subject to consultation – by 2025.

SNH have funded the SBIF Development Officer until March 2019, giving capacity to take the Review to publication and submission, and to keep momentum going across all sectors.  This role will be seeking funding to establish any implementation resources as well as focussing on securing funding to develop any potential projects linked to the 24 Recommendations.

Keep informed

  • Follow the discussion on Twitter: follow @SB_Info_Forum and use #SBIFReview
  • Read more views from the community via the SBIF Blog
  • Discover more about the Review process 
  • Existing sources gathered during the course of the Review are available in the SBIF Review Archives

For other general information about the SBIF Review, please contact Rachel Tierney, SBIF Development Officer (