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Complaints Standards Authority Update – July 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Local government

The local authority complaints handlers network agreed at their June meeting to develop a pilot approach to benchmarking performance to be rolled out between July and October. Members of the network are finalising a benchmarking methodology which will aim to demonstrate, amongst other things, how their approach will add value across the sector. The findings of the pilot will be reviewed at the network’s next meeting in October.

The network is run by the sector for the sector and membership is open to all complaints handlers, managers and senior managers across the sector. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the CSA team directly at

Local authorities are required to report annually on their performance in handling complaints. We have seen variations on the way in which the information is being presented and we would like to take this opportunity to remind councils that, as a minimum, they should report their complaints handling performance against the SPSO performance indicators for the Local Authority Model Complaints Handling Procedure.

Further education

Following the second meeting of the complaints handling advisory group work is underway to address some of the agreed actions from that meeting. A webinar is planned for September to present an interactive session with new college staff on the complaints handling tool, and a guidance note for the sector on complaints reporting will be developed.

The group is run by the sector for the sector. It will meet again following the September meeting of the Quality Development Network Steering Group. We encourage any sector representatives who are keen to join, or to learn more about the group to contact the CSA team directly at


For various reasons, including availability of staff, conflicting business priorities and accommodation issues, the planned June meeting of the housing complaints handling network did not take place. We will work with the chair of the network to reschedule this meeting and advise members accordingly. If you would like to attend future meetings of this network, please contact the CSA team directly at

Model Complaints Handling Procedure (CHP) for the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and associated public authorities in Scotland

The introduction of the model CHP for this sector has been positively received, with very few implementation issues identified. We are continuing to provide a small number of bodies with support, advice or guidance in relation to their implementation of the CHP. We are scheduled to meet with the Scottish Government in early August as they move forward with their CHP processes and complaints improvement project. We will continue to monitor compliance both through the complaints which SPSO is asked to consider and through the activities of the CSA. If and where there is a need for additional support we encourage organisations to contact us directly at

NHS complaints procedures

In the past month we have met with NHS stakeholders, including the Government, a Community Health & Care Partnership and the Scottish Health Council (SHC) to consider the way ahead regarding the SHC’s recommendation in their report “Listening and Learning – How Feedback, Comments, Concerns and Complaints Can Improve NHS Services in Scotland”. This said that the CSA should lead on the development of a more succinctly modelled, standardised and person-centred complaints process for NHS Scotland. We will continue to provide progress reports in future CSA updates.

Updated: March 8, 2017