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Complaints Standards Authority Update – November 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Model CHP for the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and associated public authorities in Scotland

Excellent progress has been reported by organisations as they work towards implementing the model CHP by 31 March 2014.  We have now been in direct contact with the small number of organisations that have yet to provide the required information, to offer our support and guidance as they work towards implementation.  Feedback from those organisations indicates that they will all be in a position to report compliance by March 2014.

We are planning to introduce a network/networks of complaints handlers for the sector.  If you are interested in joining the network, please contact us at

Higher and further education

Having successfully implemented the model CHP across all institutions in these sectors, we are now working to coordinate and support complaints handling network groups with sector representatives.  We have received expressions of interest from both sectors to help lead the networks, building on existing groups.  We will attend the November meeting of Colleges Scotland ‘Quality Development Network’ to raise the profile of this important initiative, and we also plan to work closely with representatives of Scotland’s Universities to establish a network for that sector.

As reported previously the aims of the networks will include:

• enabling complaints practitioners to share information and best practice in complaints handling

• increasing knowledge and awareness of complaints handling to improve skills and competence across the network

• developing key performance indicators and performance management arrangements

• creating a standardised approach and consistency across institutions for complaints handling

• shaping future complaints handling arrangements on behalf of the sectors.

If you are interested in joining a network group for your sector, please contact us at:

Local government

The next meeting of the local authority complaint handlers network group is scheduled for March 2014.  In advance of the next meeting we will be working to identify and share examples of good practice in learning from complaints, and to develop additional guidance specifically relevant to education complaints.

In order to test compliance with the requirements of the CHP we are undertaking an informal sample assessment of the accessibility of local authority CHPs and the quarterly publication of outcomes, trends and actions taken in response to complaints received.  Our initial findings suggest that some local authorities are not yet reporting quarterly in line with the requirements of the CHP and that there are some issues in terms of easy access to the customer CHP leaflet. We will report our findings in this regard through the network.


We are also testing compliance with the requirements of the CHP across a random sample of RSLs in Scotland.  This includes issues such as the definition of a complaint, accessibility to the CHP via websites and leaflets, timescales, stages and signposting to the SPSO. We will also assess performance in relation to recording, reporting, learning from and publicising complaints information.  The outcomes of this assessment will be reported to the Scottish Housing Regulator.


Having spoken at the October NHS Education for Scotland Masterclass for Executive and Non-Executive NHS board members, the Ombudsman will speak at further Masterclasses scheduled for November in Dundee and December in Edinburgh.  The focus of his presentation is on the importance of complaints in the governance of organisations and their value as indicators of performance, service quality and risk, particularly for health boards in the light of the findings of the Francis report.

With NHS Education for Scotland we continue to develop and roll out further training and awareness for NHS staff, and we recently delivered a number of training sessions for GP Practice Managers.  Further training is also planned for prison health centres and for the NHS.

Updated: March 8, 2017