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Complaints Standards Authority Update – April 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Model CHPs for the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and associated public authorities
We published the model complaints handling procedure (CHP) for this sector on 28 March 2013 and wrote to all relevant bodies to tell them that they are required to adopt the CHP by the end of March 2014. The CHP covers all central government public authorities, including the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and relevant agencies, NDPBs and associated bodies under the SPSO’s jurisdiction.

The model CHP and associated documents are available on this website.

By 30 September 2013 each organisation should provide the SPSO with a compliance statement, and a self-assessment of compliance to confirm that their CHP complies with the published model, or will comply with it by 31 March 2014.

Any questions about the model CHP, or the requirement to implement should be emailed to the CSA team at:

Local authority complaints handlers network
The next local authority complaints handlers network will meet on 26 April at Stirling Council and will consider the performance reporting framework, including the final draft performance indicators. We will also take the opportunity to consider feedback on the operation of the CHP from those councils that introduced the model from 1 April 2013.

Higher education
In partnership with the University of Abertay and Universities Scotland, we hosted a higher education model CHP implementation workshop on 18 April. The event was attended by representatives of all higher education institutions in Scotland. The workshop provided a detailed overview of the higher education model CHP and its requirements, as well as a presentation from the University of Edinburgh outlining their experience of planning for and implementing the CHP across all university services following their early adoption of it.

Attendees shared their experience of implementation so far, including the development of their CHP products, training and awareness for staff (including senior management), recording and reporting requirements and learning from complaints. We also agreed the potential for introducing a higher education complaints handlers network.

Feedback from the event has been very positive. It is clear that progress is being made by individual institutions and all attendees were confident of meeting the requirement to have implemented the model CHP by 30 August 2013. For further information on the content and agreed action points please contact the CSA team at:

Further education
We continue to liaise directly with Scotland’s Colleges and with individual colleges regarding the implementation of the model CHP in this sector. Positive progress is reported, with the sector confident that all colleges will introduce the CHP by 30 August 2013.

E-learning materials for further and higher education sectors
We will be working closely with representatives from both further and higher education to develop e-learning materials appropriate to the sectors, to help with training and awareness-raising for frontline staff involved in complaints handling. Representatives from the sectors interested in assisting with the development of these training packages are asked to contact the CSA team by email at or call Paul McFadden on 0131 240 2964.

The CSA is always available to provide specific advice or support to complaints handlers across the public sector. Please email any questions about model CHPs, or the requirement to implement, to See this website for more information:

Jim Martin, Ombudsman | 24 April 2013

Updated: March 8, 2017