We will look at your complaint to see whether it can and should be investigated. See 'How we handle complaints' for more detailed information.  We may contact you for more information, or call you to discuss the complaint.

If we decide not to take your complaint further we will tell you why. If we decide to investigate it we will write to you, and to the organisation about which you are complaining.  We will explain to them what we are investigating.  We will also give you and the organisation contact details for the Complaints Reviewer who is handling your complaint.  If we decide to look at it further it's on the understanding that you accept the way in which we work and that we have the authority to make a final decision on the complaint.

If your complaint is complex, we may need to transfer it to our Investigation Team for further investigation.  We will tell you if we do this and give you the contact details for the new Complaints Reviewer.

If we investigate your complaint, at the end of the investigation we will either write to you and the  organisation involved with our decision, or we will issue a public interest report.  Most investigations end in a letter, and we publish short summaries of most of those decisions on our website.  You can look for summaries that we have published in the decision reports section of the website.

If we prepare a public interest report, we will send you a draft to give you a chance to comment on the factual accuracy of the report. The final report will be laid before the Scottish Parliament and sent to you, the organisation about which you complained and Scottish Ministers.  At this point it becomes a public document and will be available on our website.  You can look for investigation reports we have issued in the investigation reports section of the website.

If we find that a complaint is justified we usually make recommendations about what should be done to put things right.  This may be an apology, an explanation or other action needed to put things right.

Updated: December 3, 2018