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Complaints Standards Authority Update July 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Download the Ombudsman’s July 2016 Commentary (PDF, 171KB)

Local Government

We are aware that several local authorities have prepared their annual complaints report for 2015/16 and provided these to SPSO. We would request that those who have not already done so send a copy of their annual complaints report to us at

The new co-chairs of the complaints network are currently planning a revised programme of activities for the network. This will prioritise learning from complaints, benchmarking for improvement and the value of applying SPSO’s Complaints Improvement Framework.  Further details will be provided in the next update.

Social Work Complaints Procedures

We are working closely with the Scottish Government, local authorities (including social work professionals), third sector, advocacy groups and other key stakeholders to develop the new model complaints handling procedure (CHP) for social work complaints. We are also preparing for SPSO’s new role in making decisions on the professional judgement exercised on behalf of the local authority.

The first meeting of the project steering group was held earlier this month. It was agreed to set up a smaller working group to help develop the new social work CHP and associated documents.  The steering group will have oversight of progress made by the working group and provide high level input.

In preparing for SPSO’s new role, we will engage with all relevant partners and stakeholders, including Social Work Scotland, COSLA, SOLAR and local authorities, the third sector and advocacy groups, the Scottish Social Services Council, the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Government’s Integration Team. The steering group will also provide feedback and act as a forum and sounding board on the development of key aspects of our new role.

Further Education

The next meeting of the complaints handling advisory group will be held in August or September this year. Details will be confirmed with members nearer the time.  The advisory group has agreed that future meetings will include a complaints surgery to allow colleges to share best practice in regards to complaints handling issues. We encourage any college that wants to know more about the advisory group to contact us at


The housing complaints handlers network met earlier this month in Glasgow. Agenda items included SPSO’s Complaints Improvement Framework, analysis of members’ complaints performance, benchmarking, complaints categories, seeking customer feedback, the Scottish Social Housing Charter and the complaints surgery.


Work on preparing the new NHS model (CHP) is moving to the next stage. This includes engagement with NHS Education for Scotland, to provide a programme of activities to support organisations as we move towards the planning for the implementation phase.  The model CHP will be implemented by NHS Scotland from April 2017.

SPSO Training Events

Upcoming courses (all based in central Edinburgh)

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

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 general information see our flyer: SPSO Training 2016 (PDF, 40KB)

For more information, and to book spaces, please contact

Updated: March 8, 2017