Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Call us on 0800 377 7330

We are commited to offering you a high-quality service. The information below sets out the public commitments and service standards that you can expect from us.

Commitment: We will communicate effectively with you

Standards Indicators
Respect and dignity

We will treat  you courteously, respectfully and with dignity.

We will work with you without discrimination or prejudice.

Keeping you informed

We will explain our investigation process to you.

We will keep you informed of progress and tell you what needs to happen next at each stage, including what we need from you.

We will always tell you who you can contact if you have any questions.

Timeliness We will deal with your complaint in a timely manner, taking into account the complexity of the case and the time needed to investigate it.
Clarity We will be as accurate, plain and clear as we can in our communications, and will avoid using jargon.
Accessibility

Our service will be easily available and accessible to you.

We will work with you flexibly to understand and meet your individual needs, including working with representatives and other service providers to support you through our service.

Understanding We will listen to what you want from us and ensure we understand your complaint. If you are complaining about an organisation we cannot consider complaints about, we will direct you to someone who can help.

 

Commitment: We will work in an open and fair way

Standards Indicators
Transparency

We will publicise information about the Ombudsman, who is in charge of decisions on complaints, their background and the rules they operate under.

We will provide you with information about explaining the approach we take to handling complaints.

Fairness

We will consider all information provided by you and the organisation complained about before a decision is reached.

Our decisions will be based on and take account of all the relevant evidence.

Impartiality and independence We will make decisions on cases on the independent evaluation provided to us by all relevant parties alone.

 

Commitment: We will carry out our duties competently and responsibly

Standards Indicators
Expertise We guarantee that the Ombudsman (or most senior office holder) in charge of the decision on your complaint has the relevant knowledge and skills to make that decision.
Explaining our scope We will clearly explain what we can consider, any restrictions that apply, and outcomes that we can or cannot achieve.
Reaching sound outcomes

We will clearly explain our reasons for our decisions to you.

We will ensure remedies are proportionate, appropriate and fair.

We will make sure the remedies are put in place as far as we can.

Ensuring impact We will use the outcomes of complaints and the learning from them to promote wider learning and improvement to the service and the sector complained about.
Handling information We will ensure our record-keeping is accurate, that we hold data securely and share it appropriately.
Putting things right

We will acknowledge and apologise for any mistakes we make, put them right quickly and make sure lessons are learned to improve our services and performance.

 

What we expect from you

We are committed to dealing with you in line with our Customer Service Standards.  We also expect you to treat our staff and our service with respect.  Our ‘Unacceptable Actions Policy’ (PDF, 46KB) explains how we deal with unacceptable actions against our staff and our process.

Are you happy with the service you received from us?

If something goes wrong or you are not satisfied with our service, please tell us.  You have the right to complain if you feel we are not meeting our Customer Service Standards. We take complaints about our service very seriously and have a special procedure for dealing with them.   Our complaints procedure (PDF, 43KB) sets out how we handle complaints and the service complaints form (PDF, 28KB) can be used to complain.  If you need further information, or you need the leaflet and form in another language or format, please contact us.

If you are happy with the service you received from us, please let us know. And we are always interested to hear suggestions on how we can improve our service.

Making a complaint about our service

The SPSO is committed to offering a high standard of service. We take any complaints about our service seriously and aim to address any areas where we have not delivered to the standards we expect of ourselves.  We value complaints and use information from them to help us improve our services.

The full SPSO customer service complaints procedure is available to download (PDF, 43KB). If you require the complaints procedure in another language or format, please contact us.

You can make your complaint in person, by phone, by email or in writing. We have a two-stage service complaints process. We will always try to deal with your complaint quickly. If it is clear that the matter will need a detailed investigation, we will tell you and keep you updated on our progress.

Stage one: early resolution
We will always try to resolve your complaint quickly, within five working days if we can. Occasionally we may extend this by up to five working days. If you are unhappy with our response, you can ask us to consider your complaint at stage two.

Stage two: investigation
We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at stage one.We also look at some complaints immediately at this stage if it is clear that they are complex, need detailed investigation, or it is otherwise appropriate to do so. We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days. We will give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be after no more than 20 working days unless this is not possible. In such circumstances we will advise you and keep you updated on our progress.

The Independent Customer Complaints Reviewer
If, after receiving our final decision on your service complaint, you remain unhappy with our response or the way we have handled your complaint, you can ask the Independent Reviewer to consider it. We will tell you how to do this when we send you our final response.

The full SPSO customer service complaints procedure is available to download (PDF, 43KB). If you require the complaints procedure in another language or format, please contact us.

Information, recording and monitoring

If we identify shortcomings in our service through a complaint, we use this information to review and improve the service we provide.

We'll tell you about any administrative action that we take as the result of learning from a complaint about our service. But we will not provide information about any action taken against individual member(s) of staff.

Complaints Statistics

As an organisation we are committed to improving our service.   A summary of complaints are communicated to our senior management team so that we can address any systemic issues that may be identified and learn from these.

We keep a record of all complaints made about our service and the outcome of each complaint.

Updated: March 6, 2018