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Complaints Standards Authority Update – June 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Higher and further education – reminder of requirement to provide returns

We have received some early returns from colleges and universities with statements of compliance and selfassessment confirming that they will comply with the published model complaints handling procedure (CHP) by 30 August 2013.

As a reminder, each university and college is required, by 28th June 2013, to provide the SPSO with a compliance statement to confirm that they will adopt the published model CHP by the August deadline. Institutions may use the appropriate online selfassessment and proforma documents on this website

Further education
Through the College Development Network, Cumbernauld College (in conjunction with a small advisory group) have taken the lead for developing a complaints logging and reporting tool. The CSA team welcomed the opportunity to provide input to the development of this before it was shared at the Quality Development Network meeting in May 2013. Based on feedback from that event, work is ongoing to finalise this product before the implementation of the model CHP across the sector.  If you would like further information on this work please contact

Further and higher education – e-learning materials
We are finalising the e-learning modules on frontline complaints handling for the further and higher education sectors. These are being developed in consultation with a small group of representatives from each sector on the basis of the modules currently available for local authority and housing sector staff (available at We expect the education modules to be available in the coming weeks – they will be free for all relevant staff and organisations to access.

Further information will be available on this website:

NHS e-learning modules
On 31 May 2013 the SPSO and NHS Education for Scotland (NES – the national body responsible for educating and training healthcare staff) launched e-learning training modules for all NHSScotland staff dealing with patient feedback, concerns and complaints. This resource will help support NHSScotland meet the requirements of the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 in relation to feedback and complaints.

These interactive learning modules raise awareness of topics such as the value of apology and of encouraging feedback from patients, their families and carers. They also provide staff with knowledge of the NHS complaints procedure. There is a real emphasis on the importance of frontline staff resolving problems to avoid escalation. There is also a focus on personcentred care, placing people at the heart of all decisions in health and social care.

Further information, including access to the modules, is available at:

Local authority complaints handlers network
The next meeting of the network will take place on 21 June 2013, hosted by Glasgow City Council. If you are interested in joining the network please contact and we will provide your details to North Lanarkshire Council, who coordinate the network.

Model CHP for the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and associated public authorities in Scotland
As a reminder, each organisation is required to comply with the model CHP by the end of March 2014. By 30 September 2013 each organisation should provide the SPSO with a compliance statement, and a selfassessment of compliance to confirm that their CHP complies with the published model, or will comply by the end of March.

The model CHP and associated documents are available on this website. Please contact if you have any questions about the model CHP, or your obligation to implement it.

Contact the CSA
The CSA is always available to provide specific advice or support to complaints handlers across the public sector. Please address any questions about the model CHPs, or the requirement to implement, to the CSA at

Updated: March 8, 2017