Customer Service Standards leaflet

Our commitments to you

We are committed to offering you a high-quality service.  Our Customer Service Standards describe how you can expect us to act.

We will communicate effectively with you

We will:

  • listen to what you want from us and ensure we understand your request for an independent review
  • treat you politely and respectfully, without prejudice
  • deal with your independent review in a timely way – sometimes we need more time than usual to look into it and, if so, we’ll let you know
  • explain our process to you and keep you updated about the stage your independent review has reached, and
  • always tell you who you can contact if you have any questions.

We’ll make our service easily available and accessible to you.  We’ll work flexibly with you to understand and meet your individual needs.  This may include working with your representatives and other service providers to help you use our service. Our communications with you will be clear and accurate, avoiding jargon.  If we can’t take your independent review forward, we’ll let you know why and what you can do next.

We will work openly and fairly

The SPSO is independent and impartial.
We’ll publish information that explains how we handle independent reviews.
Our decisions will be based on and take account of all the relevant evidence.  We will:

  • collect and look at evidence
  • consider all the information provided by you, the council and any relevant third parties before we reach a decision
  • clearly explain the reasons for our decision or explain why we can’t take your independent review further, and
  • make sure the council takes any action we ask for and get evidence to support this.

The Ombudsman is responsible for how we handle independent reviews.  We’ll publish information about the Ombudsman.  This will include details of their background and the rules they operate under.

We will carry out our duties competently and responsibly

We have to work within our legal powers (the Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015).  The law says when we can take an independent review forward and what we can and can’t do.  We’ll explain to you how this affects your independent review.
We’ll keep accurate records.  We’ll hold data securely and share it appropriately.
We’ll use the outcomes of independent reviews and what we learn from them to promote learning among councils and improve our service.
We’ll acknowledge and apologise for any mistakes we make, put them right quickly and make sure we learn lessons to improve our service and performance.
You can get a full version of our Customer Service Standards Framework from our website or by contacting us.

What we expect from you

We’re 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’ 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’re not satisfied with our service, please tell us.  You have the right to complain if you feel we’re not meeting our Customer Service Standards.  We take complaints about our service seriously and have a special procedure for dealing with them.  You can get more information about how to complain from our website or by contacting us.  Please ask for a copy of our complaints procedure and service complaints form.

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

Contacting the SPSO

You can contact us:

• by phone on 0800 014 7299 – calls are free to this number, even from mobiles

• by writing to us at FREEPOST SPSO – you don’t need to use a stamp

• through our website:

We can give you this leaflet in other languages and formats (such as large print, audio or Braille).

Updated: February 26, 2019