Complaints Standards Authority

The CSA was established by the SPSO in October 2010 to work closely with public bodies to standardise and simplify complaints handling procedures and to help drive improvement.  The overall aim of the CSA is to improve complaints handling to ensure that complaints are handled more simply, more effectively and more consistently, and are resolved at the first point of contact, wherever possible.

The CSA is taking forward new responsibilities provided to the SPSO by the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 which gives the SPSO the power to publish standardised complaints handling procedures for listed authorities (including local authorities, the NHS, Registered Social Landlords, colleges and universities, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and associated bodies). The PSR Act also requires the SPSO to monitor and promote best practice in complaints handling.

These powers allow the SPSO to take forward the recommendations of the Crerar and Sinclair reports which reviewed public sector complaint handling in Scotlandand concluded that there was a clear need for improvement. These reports concluded that there was a need for a quicker, more consistent, more user focused approach to handling complaints.