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Complaints Standards Authority Update January 2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Download the CSA Update January 2016 (PDF,136KB)


Our work to develop a revised NHS model complaints handling procedure (CHP) continues. We have worked closely with the Scottish Government and key NHS partners to form a project steering group which provides overall programme governance for the project. Three distinct sub groups are leading on the development of the revised procedure, an approved approach to data recording and reporting and preparing learning and training materials to support the implementation of the CHP. Each of these groups will present an update on their progress to the next meeting of the steering group in January 2016.

Our intention remains for the NHS model CHP to be published during 2016 with implementation by NHS Scotland being introduced from April 2017.

Integration of health and social care

The Scottish Government is currently working to develop guidance on complaints for Health and Social Care Partnerships to help ensure an integrated approach to handling complaints and Annual Performance Reporting. This will largely follow the SPSO model CHP, although including reference to the existing statutory social work and NHS complaints arrangements. The Scottish Government aim is for this guidance to be published in spring 2016.

A draft Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act Amendment Order 2016 is currently before the Scottish Parliament for approval. This will add integrated joint boards to the list of organisations under SPSO’s jurisdiction.

Local government

The next meeting of the network will be held in January 2016, when topics for consideration will include performance management and reporting and learning from complaints.   The network is currently also looking at issues such as how to ensure the welfare of the staff involved in complaints handling, developing a common set of complaints categories and the process and timescales for updating the performance indicators for complaints handling. These issues, and more will be discussed at the network. We encourage all local authority complaints handling colleagues to join this network, either by attending the meeting or participating via the well-established knowledge forum.

Further education

The next Complaints Handling Advisory Group Meeting will take place on 5 February, at College Development Network Stirling. The Advisory Group provides a forum to identify and share good practice, and look at ways in which learning from complaints can be used to improve the services that colleges deliver. The meeting will also consider its approach to hosting an event in April or May to give colleges the opportunity to benchmark their complaints performance.


The next meeting of the Housing Complaints Handlers Network will be rescheduled as it has not been possible to arrange a meeting in January. The network is committed to benchmarking the performance of its members and working to standardise complaints categories across the sector. Further information on the role of the network, including details of how you may join, can be obtained from

For all previous updates, and for more information about CHPs, visit our dedicated website

Training Events

From September – December 2015, we delivered a total of nine courses to public authorities: five councils, one college, one housing association and two to a mix of authorities. Five were in Complaints investigation skills and four in Good complaints handling.

Upcoming courses (all based in central Edinburgh)

Complaint investigation skills (stage 2 of the model CHP): 1-day open course

Tuesday 22 March

Thursday 23 June

Tuesday 29 November

Managing Difficult Behaviour: Wednesday 28 September

These are open to staff from all sectors under the SPSO’s jurisdiction. Full course details are available on the SPSO Training Unit website.

For more information and to book spaces, please contact

We have more information about courses that we can offer to organisations in our flyer: SPSO Training 2016 (PDF, 40KB)

Updated: March 8, 2017