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Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how the SPSO uses and protects any information that you give us when you use this website.

The SPSO is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

The SPSO may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 1st April 2012.

What we collect

Depending on your use of the website and the services you access we may collect the following information:

  • Your name and job title
  • Contact information including your email address
  • Demographic information including your postcode, educational background, and employment history
  • Personal information including details of any disability or illness you may have
  • Your general preferences and interests
  • Other information relevant to customer surveys

We never ask for more information than we need to provide you with the services you request.

What we do with the information we gather

Any personal data collected through this website will processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. In line with this Act, the SPSO is committed to protecting your privacy and only using any data you give us for its intended purpose and in accordance with this Act and also the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002.

We request personal information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:

  • The maintenance of a database of forum members so we can help practitioners working in complaints handling to access support and advice from CSA and other practitioners.
  • The maintenance of a newsletter subscription database to enable us to periodically contact you with information that we think you may find interesting or have explicitly expressed an interest in.

From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. We may contact you by email, phone, SMS, fax or mail. We may use the information to customise the website according to your interests.


We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and administrative procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

How we use cookies

In order to enable us to provide you with a personalised browsing experience, this site uses ‘cookie’ information collection technology.

Cookies are small pieces of information that are sent to your computer when you enter a website. Cookies are stored by your browser on your computer’s hard drive, and they can be used for a wide range of purposes, such as identifying your computer’s previous visits to this website, and to ascertain the most popular features of this website.

Like many other websites, this website uses cookies as they enable us to identify your computer when you visit this website. For example, cookies can make it possible for us to identify and automatically log in registered users of certain services on this website without the need for us to ask users for their registration details and password each time they visit.

We also use cookies to develop a clearer picture of which parts of this website are the most popular to its visitors, and your preferences. You are not obliged to accept cookies and you may amend your browser’s settings to prevent it from accepting cookies.

Please be aware that if you do disable cookies, certain services on this website may not be available to you and your enjoyment of this website may be impaired.

The lists below show all of the cookies that may be set when you visit the Valuing Complaints website.

Cookies for improving our service

Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and volumes of usage. This is to ensure that the website is available when you want it and to help us understand what you want to use.

Name Typical Content Expires
_utma Randomly generated number 2 years
_utmb Randomly generated number 30 minutes
_utmc Randomly generated number when you close your browser
_utmz Randomly generated number and information on how the site was reached (e.g. direct or via a link, organic search or paid search) 6 months

For further details on the cookies set by Google Analytics, please refer to the Google Code website.

Cookies for managing your current visit

We use 2 cookies to remember your selections or preferences that you’ve made when looking at the information on the SPSO website.

Name Typical Content Purpose Expires
PHPSESSID Randomly generated text Session identifier When you close your browser
VCSMF Randomly generated text Forum account identifier 30 days

If you have any queries about these cookies or would like more information about them, please contact us on 0131 240 8849.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site we do not have any control over the destination website. We cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information that you provide whilst visiting external sites and they are not governed by this privacy statement.

You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement of the destination website to satisfy yourself that you are comfortable using it.

Controlling your personal information

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways:

  • When completing a form on this website, make use of the opt-out tick boxes to indicate your preference not to be contacted by the SPSO.
  • If you have previously agreed to us using your personal information you may change your mind at any time and contact us to communicate your preferences.

We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so. We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties that we think you may find interesting if you tell us that you wish this to happen.

You may request details of personal information that we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. A small fee will be payable. If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to us using the detail on the Contact page.

If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect.

Updated: January 23, 2017