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Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and Associated Public Authorities in Scotland

The model Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP) for the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and Associated Public Authorities in Scotland was published on 28th March 2013 under section 16B of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 (as amended by the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010).

Under section 16C of the SPSO Act 2002, the model CHP applies to all Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and associated public authorities under the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman’s (SPSO's) jurisdiction in terms of Schedule 2 of the SPSO Act 2002.  The model CHP applies to these organisations with effect from 28th March 2013.

The model CHP is published in line with the recommendations of the Sinclair report that the SPSO simplify and improve complaints handling by developing standardised CHPs. The model CHP, therefore, reflects the model CHPs already published for the Local Government, Housing Further and Higher Education sectors in Scotland.

The model CHP and associated documents are available at the following links:

Monitoring and compliance

Each organisation should, by 30 September 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 31 March 2014. All organisations are required to have implemented the model CHP by 31 March 2014.

Compliance with the model CHP will be monitored by the SPSO both through the complaints it investigates and through the activities of the Complaints Standards Authority (CSA).  Where appropriate and required, the CSA will liaise with the appropriate sponsor body to report compliance status. Further details on monitoring and compliance arrangements are provided in the Guide to Implementation referred to above. Any questions about the model CHP, or the requirement to implement should be addressed to the CSA at

Updated: May 2, 2017