Specific Skills and Experience

Roger Crofts has been an environment and management adviser for the last two and a half years following completion of 10 years as founder Chief Executive and Accountable Officer of a statutory body (Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)). He works in the voluntary, higher education and private sector as a Trustee and Non-Executive Director. As an adviser, he undertakes a variety of projects primarily embracing educational, environmental and business strategy and management. He has specific knowledge of the public sector, higher education, the natural environment, sustainable development and rural areas. He also has a range of transferable skills relating to strategy development, business planning and implementation, leadership and management, the political system and public communication.

Strategy Development

  • Developed, implemented and redesigned statutory body strategy (1991-2002) gaining wide ownership internally and strong support from stakeholders
  • Lead and completed ‘futures’ exercise for the natural heritage for Scotland and its constituent parts(1998-2001). Partners praised both the initiative and its content.
  • Undertook reviews of the strategy and operation of, for example, the enforcement of sea fisheries regulations in Scotland (1982), the global volunteer network for national parks (1998) and, support for geography teachers in Scotland (2001-02). Approaches praised and majority of recommendations implemented.

Business Planning

  • Systems set up in Scottish Natural Heritage, which enabled non-executive and executive members and the government to determine roles and review corporate and individual performance.
  • Instigated business planning mechanisms in business and voluntary sector bodies resulting in improvements.

Leadership and management

  • Non-executive Board and Ministers approved my re-appointment as Chief Executive of SNH on 2 occasions in light of performance.
  • Two organisations with widely different track records, cultures and expertise successfully merged into SNH in early 1990s.
  • Organisational development programme in SNH (1996-99), incorporating new values and involving reconfiguring the structure of 750 staff dispersed in 40 offices throughout Scotland lead, according to independently analysed confidential staff surveys, to increased corporate responsibility and collaboration, and award of IIP status.
  • Engaged in other management change exercises, including ‘Reinventing Management’ (member of Steering Group 1997-99) which led to Scottish Leadership Foundation, and the Forum of Executive Statutory Bodies (Chair 2000-02).

Financial and Budget Management

  • Annual financial targets for the £50 million pa budget of SNH always achieved and Accounts always approved without qualification by Auditor General.
  • Engagement in financing of local authorities (Principal Adviser 1982-84) and of statutory bodies (Head of sponsor divisions in Senior Civil Service 1984-91) gave insight into the funding mechanisms, which remain relevant now.

Political System

  • Close to the political process as public servant in The Scottish Office 1974-1991 and then SNH. Known by and know many MSPs and MPs, including present and former Ministers.
  • Briefed Ministers and wrote speeches for them on many occasions.
  • Lead team which took a Natural Heritage (Scotland)) Bill successfully through both Houses of Parliament (1990-1991).
  • Given oral evidence to Parliamentary Committees on many occasions.
  • Good contacts in EU in Brussels.

Public Presentational Skills

  • Undertaken many speaking engagements to a wide variety of audiences in UK and overseas.
  • Been on radio and TV for live and recorded interviews on many occasions, including lead responder on phone-ins.
  • Written many articles, edited books and authored pamphlets for variety of audiences, especially on environment and sustainable development. Currently working on coffee table book on Scotland’s geology and on simple guide to leadership.

Engagement with the Business Community

  • Most prominent during 2 periods, totalling over 12 years, in the government’s Industry Department for Scotland. Late 70s and early 80s responsible for intelligence and advice service on oil, gas and petrochemicals requiring close contact with these sectors.
  • Key policy person and Ministerial adviser on rural affairs (19888-1991) and on the development of the Highlands and Islands and tourism in Scotland (1984-88).
  • In 90s many contacts with agriculture, energy and mining interests on environmental matters.

Board and Committee Experience

  • Non-executive director experience: Board of Central Scotland Woodlands (early 90s); Board of Fieldfare plc (2003-); Council (1992-2004), Executive Committee (2003-2004) and Board (2004-), Chair of Conservation Committee (2004-) of National Trust for Scotland; Board of Plantlife International (2001-); Board, Finance Committee, Student Liaison Committee and Trusts Committee of Scottish Agricultural College (2002-); Chair Sibthorp Trust (2002-).
  • As SNH Chief Executive chaired the top Management Team (1992-2002).
  • Appointed by fellow Chief Executives to chair the Forum of Executive Statutory Bodies in Scotland (1999-2002).
  • Elected by the membership to chair UK (1999-2002) and European committees (2001- ) of IUCN The World Conservation Union.
  • Secretary to voluntary bodies where resided in Edinburgh.


  • Contribution to public life in Scotland and specifically to the management of the environment recognised by the Queen with appointment as a Commander of the British Empire (1999), by the Royal Society of Edinburgh as a Fellow (2001), by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society as a Fellow (2001), and by the University of St Andrews with an Hon DSc.
  • Visiting Professor of Environmental Management, Royal Holloway University of London (1997- ), Honorary Professor of Geography at the University of Aberdeen (1997- ), Visiting Professor School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh (2004- ).
  • Geography undergraduate and research degrees, and teacher training certificate.



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