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Complaints Standards Authority Update – March 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Local authority complaints handling procedures (CHPs)

In March 2012, we published the model CHP for the local government sector in Scotland. At that time we asked all 32 local authorities to implement the model as soon as possible, and by no later than 31 March 2013.

Significant work has been undertaken by the sector since then to plan for and introduce the model CHP across all appropriate council services. This included staff awareness sessions, staff training, developing products and redesigning systems to ensure that the infrastructure to support the model CHP was in place in good time. This is a significant achievement by the sector and one that will drive up the standards of complaints handling and deliver an improved and more efficient service to customers.

Local authority complaints handlers network

The local authority network will next meet on 26th April 2013 when the main topics of consideration will be the Performance Reporting Framework and performance indicators for the sector.

Housing CHPs

In April 2012, we published the model CHP for the housing sector in Scotland. Excellent progress has been made across the sector as organisations planned for the development and full implementation of the model CHP.

From April 2013 all Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and Housing Associations are required to have a CHP in place which is compliant with the model CHP for the sector.We are grateful to those that have sent us confirmation of their current position. If your organisation has not yet advised the CSA of its current position, or needs advice or guidance about the introduction of the model CHP, please contact the CSA directly to discuss this.

Further education

Following publication of the model CHP in December 2012 the sector has set up a steering group to develop a consistent approach to developing systems to accommodate the requirements of the model CHP. Positive progress is reported, with the sector confident that all colleges will introduce the CHP by 30 August 2013.

Higher education

Positive progress is also being made by individual institutions in this sector to develop the CHP for their university. In April 2013 we will host a stakeholder event where we will consider issues such as the challenges of implementing the CHP, including systems and recording, training and awareness, performance indicators and reporting, and CSA training and support.

Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, agencies, NDPBs & associated bodies

The model CHP for this sector which includes all agencies, NDPBs and associated bodies under the SPSO’s jurisdiction, as well as the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government departments, has now been developed and will be published on 29 March 2013.

The model, together with the implementation guide that explains the requirement to implement this during 2013/14, can be found on our valuing complaints website ( Any enquiries relating to this CHP should be directed to

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

Updated: March 8, 2017