What does Welsh Language Schemes mean?
Some public sector organisations, for example housing associations, town and community councils and UK government departments, implement Welsh language schemes. Welsh language schemes existed before the Welsh language standards, and is the result of the Welsh Language Act 1993. If you want to see which organisations implement the Welsh language schemes click here
The Welsh Language Act 1993 places a duty on the public sector to treat both languages equally when providing services to the public. Read more about the Welsh Language Act 1993 here
According to the Act, public organisations are required to prepare a language scheme to explain which services they will provide in Welsh. Similar to Welsh Language Standards, they place language duties on organisations. If the organisation doesn’t offer a compulsory Welsh service, they must set out a timetable as to how and when they will be available.
What is the process of preparing a Welsh language scheme?
The first step is for an organisation to prepare a draft of the language duties they intend to implement for the attention of the Welsh language Commissioner. A specific timetable setting out when the organisation intends to implement the language duties will be part of the scheme.
When preparing their language scheme, the organisation must follow the Welsh Language Commissioner's statutory guidance. Read more about this here
The organisation will have to carry out a public consultation on their language scheme, in order to receive comments from the public.
The organisation and the Welsh Language Commissioner will discuss the language duties, before coming to an agreement on the final language scheme.
Revising a Welsh Language Scheme
If the circumstances of an organisation that implements a Welsh language scheme changes, they may have to revise their language scheme. Any new scheme will be expected to commit to improving the current Welsh language provision.