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Complaints Standards Authority Update – January 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Further and higher education – model procedures published

Model complaints handling procedures (CHPs), one for the further education (FE) sector and one for the higher education (HE) sector, were published on 19th December 2012. All universities and colleges in Scotland were notified that the model CHP applies to them with effect from that date. To see the model CHPs and associated documents, visit www.valuingcomplaints.org.uk/further-and-higher-education/

We also published an implementation guide detailing requirements for adoption and compliance and an outline of requirements for publishing information on complaints performance. Each university and college should, by 28th June 2013, provide the SPSO with a compliance statement and a self-assessment of compliance to confirm that their CHP complies with the published model CHP, or will comply with the published model CHP by 30 August 2013. All universities and colleges are required to have implemented the model CHP by 30 August 2013. The CHPs will be incorporated into the Scottish Funding Council’s financial memorandum for FE and HE institutions. Please address any questions about the model CHP, or the requirement to implement, to the CSA team at: csa@spso.org.uk

Local authority complaints handling network

The local authority complaints handling network will meet on 25 January at South Lanarkshire Council. The focus will be on monitoring and reporting complaints performance including developing performance indicators.

Housing complaints handlers network

Information will be provided shortly on the dates and agenda for the next meeting of the registered social landlords complaints handling network. If you would like more information about the network, or are interested in joining, please visit the forum on our Valuing Complaints website www.valuingcomplaints.org.uk/forum or contact the CSA team for details.

Training and Valuing Complaints forum
Our e-learning training modules on frontline resolution are available through our training centre at www.spsotraining.org.uk. These courses have been developed to help with the introduction of the model CHPs for each sector. This training is available to all public sector bodies and is currently free.

Places are still available for our face-to-face complaints handling training course for all sectors on 29 January in Edinburgh. This includes frontline complaint handling (stage 1 of the model CHP) and complaint investigation skills (stage 2 of the model CHP). As always, the CSA team will be happy to provide further information on any aspect of this work and can be contacted at csa@spso.org.uk.

We would also encourage all complaints handlers to log on and join the discussions on the online complaints handling forum. If you have any questions on implementation, put them up on the forum and you will get a response from the CSA team or from other complaints handlers.

Fair and Equal: How does the Equality Act 2010 affect complaints handling in Scotland?

As highlighted in our last update, we have published an article on our Valuing Complaints website which explains that for people working in the public sector, including in complaints handling, there are many implications of the Equality Act.

We would encourage you to read this article. We would also ask anyone working in complaints handling in the public sector in Scotland who has already begun to work on equality and complaints handling, developed good practice policies and procedures or indeed is struggling with a particular area of the Equality Act, to provide comments on it or ask questions through the Valuing Complaints forum or by contacting the CSA team at csa@spso.org.uk.

Updated: March 8, 2017