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Complaints Handling Procedure

Foreword by the Permanent Secretary

Our complaints handling procedure reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to serving the public.  It seeks to resolve issues at the point of service delivery, and where necessary to conduct thorough, impartial and fair investigations of complaints.

The procedure introduces a standardised approach to handling complaints across government, which complies with the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman's guidance on a model complaints handling procedure.  This procedure aims to help us 'get it right first time'.  We want quicker, simpler and more streamlined complaints handling with local, early resolution by capable, well-trained staff.

Complaints give us valuable information we can use to improve customer satisfaction.  Our complaints handling procedure will enable us to address dissatisfaction and should also prevent the problems that led to the complaint from occurring again.  For our staff, complaints provide a first-hand account of the customer's views and experience, and can highlight problems we may otherwise miss.  Handled well, complaints can give our customers a form of redress when things go wrong, and can also help us continuously improve our services.

The complaints handling procedure will help us do our job better, improve relationships with the people we serve and the work of the Scottish Government.

Sir Peter Housden
Permanent Secretary
The Scottish Government


You can read our introduction to making a complaint,  read the full procedure online or download either of these as a PDF below.


Downloadable documents:

Title:The Complaints Handling Process
Description:The Scottish Government Complaints Handling Process
File:Scottish Government Complaints Handling Procedure [PDF, 265.4 kb: 14 Jun 2013]
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File:Introduction to making a complaint [PDF, 156.6 kb: 21 Oct 2014]
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File:Introduction to making a complaint (Gaelic Version) [DOC, 56.3 kb: 21 Oct 2014]
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