COVID-19 update

Our office is currently not open to visitors. We are responding to emails; however, our response times will be affected.  We are operating a limited telephone service for complaints related enquiries. Our Scottish Welfare Fund review service is still available by telephone as normal.  Please read our information for customers and organisations

Working with others to improve service and protect the public

SPSO is committed to contributing to public sector improvement and this includes supporting the work of other organisations whose statutory functions mean they have a key role in promoting improvement, undertaking scrutiny and reducing risk to vulnerable people. 

These organisations are likely to be:

  • Complaint handlers
  • Scrutiny organisations
  • Regulators
  • Other public agencies

Please contact us if your organisation is interested in working with us on supporting public sector improvements in this way. 

You can use our normal points of contact but we may also provide you with a named contact on request and may seek one from you for specific purposes.  We will keep named contact information up-to-date and inform you of any changes. 

Contact us


We will take a strategic approach to engagement considering:

  • where engagement will bring most benefit to the public
  • where engagement may be needed to reduce risk
  • available resources which will include what resources others have to commit to engagement.

We will respect your work and role and seek to support this when we can:

  • We will respond to consultations when we consider we have information or experience which means our comments could make a difference to your work.
  • We will support your work by attending meetings, events and participating in joint projects on request when possible. Decisions on our level of involvement will be made on the basis of clear, consistent criteria.
  • We will offer you the chance to engage in our projects and comment on our consultations when appropriate.
  • We may inform you on an embargoed basis of significant reports relating to your area of responsibility in advance of normal publication to ensure you can begin to develop an appropriate response.

It is important organisations signpost clearly and consistently.  Failures can lead to individuals becoming lost and disillusioned as they seek to navigate a complex landscape.

Signposting to you

We will seek to ensure we signpost appropriately and may contact you before signposting if we are uncertain.

We may publish information about signposting to help the public navigate the system if we reference your organisation in doing so, we will seek to ensure we have your agreement.

Signposting to us

We will provide information publicly which should help you know when signposting to us may be appropriate.

We will be happy to discuss with you individual cases if you are unsure whether or not to signpost to us.

Information should be shared proportionately and with respect for legal protections to

  • help improve service
  • protect individuals
  • reduce risk 
  • ensure public resources are being used effectively and efficiently by reducing the burden of scrutiny.

To help with this:

  • We will publish statistics and other information in formats which can be re-used
  • We may provide information on themes and trends and bespoke statistics on request or as part of a joint project or regular pattern of engagement
  • We will publish detailed information about what data we can share and when you may be able to request this.
  • We may ask you to provide appropriate commitments to ensure compliance with data protection legislation when sharing personal data with you.  We will do so in a way that is clear and straight-forward for you to undertake. 

    Agreements 

    We currently have the following agreements with other organisations:

    The Keeper of the Records of Scotland - Feb 2016 (PDF, 160KB)

    Care Inspectorate - Feb 2021 (PDF, 449KB)

    Updated: March 26, 2021