Our policies

Equality and Diversity Policy Statement

SAMS/SRSL promotes a positive culture for working to which every member of staff contributes and within which they are able to develop to their full potential.

It is central to SAMS/SRSL to ensure that all members of SAMS/SRSL staff treat each other with respect, regardless of their age, disability, gender (including transgender), marital status, pregnancy, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

SAMS/SRSL will embed equality and diversity across all its work. To achieve this all employees have a part to play.

SAMS/SRSL fosters a culture of freedom of thought and expression and this must be done within a framework of mutual respect.


Disability Statement

SAMS/SRSL is committed to taking all reasonable steps/adjustments to anticipate and meet the needs of staff, applicants, visitors and others with disabilities using SAMS/RSL facilities and/or services. SAMS/SRSL will ensure - so far as practicable - that all necessary adjustments are made to ensure that all sections of our community can benefit from the full range of services we provide.

If you are disabled or become disabled, we encourage you to tell us about your condition so that we can support you as appropriate.


Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment, promotion, and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting should be done by more than one person and with the involvement of the Human Resources Department, where possible. Our recruitment procedures should be reviewed regularly to ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.

Vacancies should generally be advertised to a diverse section of the labour market. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying. All adverts should include a short policy statement on equal opportunities and a copy of this policy will be made available on request.

We take steps to ensure that our vacancies are advertised to a diverse labour market.

Job applicants should not be asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a Protected Characteristic. For example, applicants should not be asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children.

Job applicants should not be asked about health or disability before a job offer is made. There are limited exceptions which should only be used with the approval of the Human Resources Department. For example: Questions necessary to establish if an applicant can perform an intrinsic part of the job (subject to any reasonable adjustments).

Questions to establish if an applicant is fit to attend an assessment or any reasonable adjustments that may be needed at interview or assessment.

Positive action to recruit disabled persons.

Equal opportunities monitoring (which will not form part of the selection or decision-making process).

Where necessary, job offers can be made conditional on a satisfactory medical check.

We are required by law to ensure that all employees are entitled to work in the UK. Assumptions about immigration status should not be made based on appearance or apparent nationality. All prospective employees, regardless of nationality, must be able to produce original documents (such as a passport) before employment starts, to satisfy current immigration legislation. The list of acceptable documents is available from the Human Resources Department or UK Visas and Immigration.

To ensure that this policy is operating effectively, and to identify groups that may be underrepresented or disadvantaged in our organisation, we monitor applicants' ethnic group, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and age as part of the recruitment procedure. Provision of this information is voluntary and it will not adversely affect an individual's chances of recruitment or any other decision related to their employment. The information is removed from applications before shortlisting, and kept in an anonymised format solely for the purposes stated in this policy. Analysing this data helps us take appropriate steps to avoid discrimination and improve equality and diversity.

SAMS UHI Gender Action Plan 2017


Health and Safety Policy 2018

SAMS is Scotland’s largest marine independent marine research institute whose teams can sometimes operate in challenging conditions. SAMS management therefore places the highest priority on the health and safety of its staff and those affected by its activities and is committed to providing strong and proactive health and safety leadership.

SAMS acknowledges the responsibility placed on it by the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and is committed to achieving and maintaining high levels of health and safety standards that will as a minimum comply with all relevant legislation. This commitment extends to its overseas activities and SAMS will, where possible, apply the same high standards here as it does in the United Kingdom.

SAMS aims to demonstrate compliance and continual improvement in health & safety management and performance to provide a safe, healthy and supportive environment and reduce accidents and work related ill health to those who may be affected by its activities and / or premises. This will be achieved through the development of specific objectives on an annual basis, a management approved annual plan and long term strategy that identifies areas for improvement and by allocating adequate resources for the implementation of this Policy, including ensuring that SAMS has access to competent specialist advice and secures the competence of its staff.

SAMS will identify its hazards and assess risks created by its activities and will, so far as is reasonably practicable, eliminate or control those risks through a hierarchical approach.  

SAMS is also committed to providing effective routes of consultation and communication with its employees, students and others who may be affected by this Policy.

This Policy statement together with sub-policies, procedures and guidance describes the SAMS Health and Safety Policy.

This Policy will be monitored and reviewed at least annually by the Health and Safety Advisor.

Approved by:

Professor Nicholas JP Owens
SAMS Director

Professor Geoffrey Boulton
SAMS President

Anti-corruption and bribery policy

These are the summary extracts of our 11-page policy:

It is our policy to conduct all of our business in an honest and ethical manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships wherever we operate and implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery.

We will uphold all laws relevant to countering bribery and corruption [in all the jurisdictions in which we operate]. However, we remain bound by the laws of the UK, including the Bribery Act 2010, in respect of our conduct both at home and abroad.

We have identified that the following are particular risks for our business:

  • >Contract work with third parties where the perceived risk increases as we move from mainly public sector clients to private sector contracts and outside the UK where the operating environment is different from that with which we are familiar.  These are of course the very areas in which SAMS and SRSLtd seeks to grow the business.
  • >Education is another area where HEIs have experienced issues and we need to consider this a risk area.

To address those risks we have

  • >reviewed our policies that cover relationships with third parties and third party organisations including; Hospitality and Gifts, Conflict of Interest and Fraud
  • >set up procedures derived from those policies including Registers of Hospitality, Gifts and Interests
  • >set up procedures for staff to report incidents or concerns and for those concerns to be properly implemented either by the management chain or if necessary through the operation of the SAMS whistle-blowers’ charter
  • >revised SAMS and SRSLtd standard terms and conditions with clients and subcontractors to reflect this policy and the requirements of the 2010 Bribery Act
  • >set up training for staff to make them aware of risk using examples

This policy applies to all individuals working at all levels and grades, including senior managers, officers, directors, employees (whether permanent, fixed-term or temporary), consultants, contractors, trainees, seconded staff, homeworkers, casual workers and agency staff, volunteers, interns, agents, sponsors, or any other person associated with us, or any of our subsidiaries or their employees, wherever located.

A bribe is an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided in order to gain any commercial, contractual, regulatory or personal advantage.

The giving or receipt of gifts is not prohibited, if the following requirements are met:

  • >it is not made with the intention of influencing a third party to obtain or retain business or a business advantage, or to reward the provision or retention of business or a business advantage, or in explicit or implicit exchange for favours or benefits;
  • >it complies with SAMS Gifts and Hospitality Policy which can be found on the Intranet at SAMS Gifts & Hospitality Policy.pdf)
  • >it complies with local law;
  • >it is given in the Company (SAMS or a subsidiary) name, not in your name;
  • >it does not include cash or a cash equivalent (such as gift certificates or vouchers);
  • >it is appropriate in the circumstances. For example, in the UK it is customary for small gifts to be given at Christmas time;
  • >taking into account the reason for the gift, it is of an appropriate type and value and given at an appropriate time;
  • >it is given openly, not secretly; and
  • >gifts should not be offered to, or accepted from, government officials or representatives, or politicians or political parties.

The practice of giving business gifts varies between countries and regions and what may be normal and acceptable in one region may not be in another. The test to be applied is whether in all the circumstances the gift or hospitality is reasonable and justifiable. The intention behind the gift should always be considered.


It is not acceptable for you (or someone on your behalf) to:

  • >give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given;
  • >give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality to a government official, agent or representative to "facilitate" or expedite a routine procedure;
  • >accept payment from a third party that you know or suspect is offered with the expectation that it will obtain a business advantage for them;
  • >accept a gift or hospitality from a third party if you know or suspect that it is offered or provided with an expectation that a business advantage will be provided by us in return;
  • >threaten or retaliate against another worker who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this policy; or
  • >engage in any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.

Legal notice

Unless otherwise indicated, this website and its contents are the property of The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), whose administrative offices are at The Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA. The copyright in the material contained on this Website belongs to SAMS or its licensors. The trademarks appearing on this Website are protected by the laws of Scotland and by international trademark laws.

  1. The information placed on this Website by the SAMS has been prepared solely for the purpose of providing selected information about SAMS, its subsidiary companies and organisations with which it is associated; and about the respective services which they offer.
  2. SAMS does not make any warranty that information contained on this Website, or on any site linked to this Website, is complete, accurate or up-to-date; and SAMS is not responsible for the results of reliance on any such information.
  3. SAMS does not make any warranty that use of the Website will be uninterrupted, virus-free or error-free; or that use of the Website will not affect other software or operating systems used to access the Website. Any warranties provided under the general law are expressly excluded to the fullest extent possible. In particular, SAMS does not warrant that use of the Website will not infringe the rights of any other person or organisation; nor that the Website is of reasonable quality or fit for any particular purpose, even if SAMS has received notice of an intention to use the Website for that purpose.
  4. Unless they are contained in SAMS information, or unless expressly stated otherwise, opinions given on this Website are those of the individuals making them, and not those of SAMS: SAMS is not responsible for such opinions or any claims resulting from them.
  5. To the extent permitted in law, SAMS accepts no liability for any loss or damage which may be suffered by other parties as a direct or indirect result of using this Website (including loss of profit, loss of opportunity, loss of business, and consequential loss).
  6. Persons submitting material other than SAMS Information to this Website are solely responsible for the material and for any claims relating to its content, whether made against SAMS or otherwise. Whilst SAMS does not exercise significant editorial control over content posted to the Website by users, SAMS reserves the right at its sole discretion to remove any content which it has been notified is objectionable, whether or not the objection is substantiated, and otherwise to review, edit or delete any comments posted by users which it deems defamatory, unlawful, threatening or otherwise objectionable. Notwithstanding the foregoing, and to the extent permitted in law, SAMS accepts no responsibility or liability for any material communicated by third parties via the Website.
  7. Subject to the above, those gaining access to this Website are authorised to make use of the Website (and of any chatrooms and interactive facilities which may be available through it) for any lawful purposes. The following is a non-exclusive list of uses which are expressly prohibited:

 a. using the Website to commit or encourage unlawful acts, including unlawful copying of copyright material;

 b. misrepresenting the user's identity or authority;

 c. distributing any type of virus or other device intended to cause nuisance, loss or corruption of any information on the Website or accessed through it, or of any systems used to operate the Website or any systems accessed through it; 

d. tampering with communications which are not the user's, or making any alteration to any information on the Website;

 e. accessing or attempting to access other parties' user accounts;

 f. hacking or attempting to hack any part of the Website, or any system used to run it, or any system accessed through the Website; 

g. disrupting the flow of communications in interactive areas; 

h. storing personal data derived from the Website;

 i. posting material which: 
(i) infringes intellectual property rights; 
(ii) defames or threatens other people or organisations;
 (iii) is offensive, obscene or hateful, or which other users of the Website are likely to consider offensive, obscene or hateful.
  8. SAMS collects e-mail addresses and other contact details, together with any comments provided voluntarily via this Website. SAMS also collects information on what pages are visited. This information is used to improve the content of the Website and to make contact for marketing purposes and for the supply of information.
  9. These terms are governed by Scottish law, and the Courts of Scotland have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to them.
  10. If any of these terms is found to be illegal or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the term(s) in question will be severed; but the remaining terms will continue in force.


Terms and conditions for using www.sams.ac.uk


All information provided by the Scottish Association for Marine Science on the web pages are made available to provide immediate access for the convenience of interested persons.

While SAMS believes the information to be reliable, human or mechanical error remains a possibility. Therefore, SAMS does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or correct sequencing of the information.

Neither SAMS nor any of the sources of the information shall be responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the use of or results obtained from the use of this information.


Terms of use

Information at this site is:

  • >general information provided as part of the SAMS commitment to publicising its activities and disseminating of information relating to its organisation
  • >subject to the usual uncertainties of research
  • >subject to change without notice
  • >not to be relied on as the basis for doing or failing to do something.

Links to and from this site are:

  • >not endorsed by SAMS
  • >not prohibited by SAMS (either to the front page of through deep linking)
  • >for convenience only and do not mean that SAMS endorses or approves those other sites, their content or the people who run them
  • >for the Internet user to make their own decisions about the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of information found at sites linked from this website, rather than the responsibility of SAMS

About this site

This is the Scottish Association for Marine Science's main public facing website. It is managed and maintained by the SAMS communications team. There is a change in layout apparent in the 'services' area as this takes the visitor to the website of SAMS Research Services Limited, a subsidiary company of SAMS that produces its own website and content, or to the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa website or the National Facility for Scientific Diving website, which are national facility functions of SAMS with a long-established brand separate from that of SAMS.


Our sites are designed to conform to the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) guidelines. For more information please see the Accessibility Statement for this site.

Search and maps

SAMS uses Google Search Appliance, accessible through the search box in the header of all pages. 

This site uses Google maps.

Contacting a webmaster

If you have any comments or suggestions about any of SAMS’ websites, please use the contact link provided on the web page your inquiry refers to. This will send a mail to the relevant content provider.

If you would like to contact the webmaster for any SAMS owned site (www.sams.ac.uk, www.srsl.com, www.ecmb.org, www.marinesciencefestival.com, www.oceanexplorercentre.org, www.ccap.ac.uk, www.nfsd.org.uk)  please email: webmaster@sams.ac.uk

Site Design

This T4 site was designed by Rory MacKinnon of the SAMS communications team.

SAMS is an independent research institute and a charitable body and is not classified as a Scottish Public Authority and therefore is not directly subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) or to the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs).

The  Scottish  public  authorities  which  are  subject  to  the  regimes  are  listed  in Schedule 1 of FOISA or designated in an order under section 5 (1) of FOISA. These  include  the  Scottish  Government,  local  authorities, the  NHS,  schools, colleges  and universities, and the police. Wholly publicly owned companies (including those wholly owned by more than one authority) are also covered by the regimes. Under the EIRs, some additional bodies are subject to the regime if they fall under the control of a public authority covered by EIRs and they have public responsibilities, functions, or provide public services in relation to the environment.

The Scottish Information Commissioner publishes guidance on how to make a valid information request.