You are here

Complaints Standards Authority Update November 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Complaints Standards Authority

This has been an exciting month for the CSA, with some significant changes in staffing.  One of our CSA officers has gone on leave for an extended period, and we welcome two new members of staff to the team, who will be covering a range of duties within the Improvement, Standards and Engagement team, including CSA work.  We look forward to introducing these new staff members at our upcoming events and networks.

Stakeholder engagement

During the last month we attended the annual college complaint handing event in Stirling.  We presented an update on sector specific data for the year to date and talked about changes to our visual identity and our forthcoming office move.  We were pleased to be involved in some productive and reflective discussion around our thematic report on Making Complaints Work for Everyone and our Quality Assurance toolkit.  Both resources are available on our Valuing Complaints website.

Earlier in October we welcomed staff from the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland to learn more about their role in academic standards and quality, particularly their Scottish Concerns Scheme.  We shared information about the SPSO’s complaints and learning and improvement work across the public sector.

Also in October we were pleased to participate in the General Medical Council’s (GMC) national workshops to consider ‘What patients expect of their doctors’. Strengthening their relationship with the public and medical professionals is one of the GMC’s four strategic aims.  We welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback on key complaints handling issues, which we hope will help to ensure every patient receives a high standard of care.

We also presented to the Academic Registrars Annual Conference which considered ‘The New Age of the Student as Consumer and/or Partner’.  We spoke of the need to properly manage expectations throughout the complaints handling process, and highlighted the importance of using the learning from student complaints to improve services and the student experience.  We also shared some tools and techniques that organisational leaders may use to gain assurance of the effective application of their complaints handling function.   

The Independent National Whistleblowing Officer

We are all set to consult on the draft National Whistleblowing Standards (the Standards).  We continue to work with the Scottish Government as they prepare the legislation for consultation, the plan being we consult at the same time.

In the meantime we are planning for implementation of the draft Standards, and have been turning our minds to the guidance that will be needed across the health sector.  This may influence the format of the final Standards, and we will be working with stakeholders as we progress with this work, to ensure we take account of the requirements for Boards, primary care providers, and all other organisations that will come under the remit of the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer.


Universities – this network will next meet in Edinburgh on 17 December 2018.

Local Government – this network will next meet in Glasgow on 7 December 2018.

Colleges – The Complaints Advisory Group met on Thursday 1 November.

The key discussion at this meeting centred on the recent annual college complaint event. The group reflected on the excellent feedback from the day and talked about the frequency of future events and possible themes that might be covered.

We provided the group with an update on our new Support and Intervention Policy and our ongoing project to update and revise our Model CHPs. We also shared information on our Unacceptable Actions Policy and Guide to Dealing with Problem Behaviour, both documents are available on our Valuing Complaints website here.

Housing – date for next meeting TBC.

Updated: November 20, 2018