Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Call us on 0800 377 7330

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We have published our ‘Guidance on a Model Complaints Handling Procedure’ which is the basis on which we will seek to develop, in partnership with public service providers, model complaints handling procedures for the areas of public services that they deliver.

The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 (building on the work of the Crerar and Sinclair Reports) gave the SPSO the authority to lead the development of simplified and standardised complaints handling procedures (CHPs) across the public sector.  Following consultation, a Statement of Complaints Handling Principles was developed by the SPSO.  These Principles were approved by the Parliament and published in January 2011.  In February 2011 we published our analysis of the responses to the consultation in relation to the proposals for standardised CHPs.  The analysis and the guidance are published on our complaints standards website:

We have set up an internal unit, the Complaints Standards Authority (CSA), which will provide further support in improving complaints handling procedures. The CSA will work in partnership with individual public sector areas to oversee the process of developing model CHPs for each sector in line with the framework of the Principles and the guidance. The CSA will also work in partnership with sectors to agree the timescales for introduction of the CHPs.

We look forward supporting public services in Scotland as they seek to develop CHPs which comply with the Principles and to build a culture across the public sector that values complaints as a driver of improvement in the delivery of public services.

For further information, see or contact John Stevenson, CSA, at or on 0131 240 2984.

Updated: August 10, 2015