Volunteering is your way to share your experiences, have fun, inspire others, feel valued and give back to your community.
If you have a simple curiosity or a dedicated passion for arts and heritage, the experience of volunteering in a gallery can help you explore your skills and talents with like-minded people.
There is flexibility around your time and needs, and we will support you with any training required to make the most out of your experience with us.
We appreciate our volunteers, and we design our roles so everyone can benefit from the experience.
Volunteers are involved with every aspect of our work, front-of-house and behind-the-scenes. They help us care for, research, interpret, and display the collection. Volunteers bring new ideas, different perspectives, and an authentic voice from the community.
Volunteering opportunities are as diverse as the collection itself. Every volunteer opportunity has a unique role description, so you know what to expect before you express your interest.
We offer volunteering opportunities in five main areas: collections care, event support, administration, visitor experience, and special projects.
There are several ways you can get involved in caring for the collection. If you have a keen interest in the collection and how we look after it, you can be part of the process.
Learning the standard fitting method with our Conservation Technicians, keeping meticulous records of artwork movements as they travel to and from our Galleries, and making sure our precious library resources are in the best storage conditions are just a few examples.
Events at National Galleries of Scotland come in all shapes and sizes.
You can help the Development team host events for our Friends members in collaboration with our Friends Committee.
You can support our Learning and Engagement events by chatting to families as they create art together, guiding visually impaired visitors on a tour of an exhibition, or welcoming visitors to an evening concert or lecture.
You can assist with the opening events of new exhibitions and spaces throughout the Galleries by welcoming visitors and providing information.
An infectious smile, positive attitude and people skills are all it takes to support our events programme.
Our work benefits greatly from the administrative support of volunteers. A basic level of computer literacy is helpful and attention to detail is important, but what matters most is your enthusiasm.
Some of the tasks you might do involve data entry, reviewing digital curatorial files, digitising labels to preserve an artwork’s history, database creation with the marketing team, or transcribing artists correspondence.
Visitor surveys and support
If you love talking to people about art and hearing what they think, you could help us to find out more about our audience.
We want to know more about our visitors and their experiences at the National Galleries of Scotland. To achieve this, we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who have an interest in art and audience engagement, and enjoy interacting with the public.
The volunteer opportunities above only list some of the work you can do with us. Often, we have volunteer roles that look for specific interests or lived experiences to help us ensure Scotland’s Art is for everyone.
Some projects may require more technical skills or knowledge in art history, conservation, or digital tools. For example, auditing or cataloguing the collection, supporting content for our digital channels, or researching the provenance of our collection for due diligence.
Volunteering with the National Galleries of Scotland
Watch one or more of the six videos in the playlist below to learn about our volunteers' experiences with us.Download transcript
Volunteering with us is open to everyone, people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and experience. Volunteers offer us a chance to connect with the communities of Scotland and beyond, and your experiences can help us do this. We create our opportunities to help you achieve your goals, no matter what they are, and we value each of our volunteers and understand that everyone has something to offer.
How to apply
Our volunteering opportunities are posted on our volunteering portal. Here you can browse the existing opportunities and submit your application online.
Although we do our best to provide as many opportunities as possible, we cannot guarantee a volunteer placement for everyone who expresses their interest.
We are not currently offering work experience placements but hope to offer them again soon.
Check this page later for information about how secondary school students who show a genuine interest in art can apply for a placement.
Equality of opportunity
Our volunteer opportunities are open to everyone with an interest in art and heritage and have the right to volunteer in the UK. Every expression of interest will be considered with regard to our equal opportunities policy. All necessary role-specific training and regular support and supervision will be provided.
For more information about our policies or the volunteer recruitment process, please refer to the Volunteer Programme Policy.
Investing in Volunteers
Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK quality standard for all organisations which involve volunteers in their work. IiV is owned by the UK Volunteering Forum, which consists of the chief executives of the National Volunteering Development Agencies.
In October 2014, National Galleries Scotland became the first national arts organisation to achieve Investing in Volunteers.