One of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman's responsibilities is to set and monitor complaints handling standards for the public sector in Scotland. These standards are published as the Model Complaints Handling Procedures (MCHP) and define how we expect each public service sector to handle complaints quickly and simply, with local and early resolution by empowered and well trained staff.
We put an emphasis on valuing complaints – recording all complaints, reporting key information and using the lessons learned to improve service delivery.
Model Complaints Handling Procedure (MCHP)
The aim of standardising and streamlining complaints handling procedures has been at the core of this work, so all MCHPs are closely aligned. The key elements of each MCHP will be the same for all sectors, including:
- A shared definition of what is and what is not a complaint
- A two-stage process where complaints are resolved as close to the frontline as possible
- Frontline resolution of complaints within five working days
- An investigation stage of 20 working days, which provides the organisation’s final decision
- Recording of all complaints
- Active learning from complaints through reporting and publicising complaints information.
Guidance and support
We work with public bodies under our jurisdiction to provide essential advice, guidance and training on complaints handling, share learning and best practice, and ultimately enable a more efficient delivery of Scottish public services.
Support and Intervention Policy
Our Support and Intervention Policy was launched in 2019 and formalises the mechanisms we use to offer support to organisations and take intervention when required, for example if certain complaints handling issues are recurring. The policy offers clarity to public bodies regarding what to expect from us, how and when.