Complaints handling and the SPSO complaints procedure
Tuesday 27th April 2021

Over two mornings - Tuesday 27th and Thursday 29th April 2021

Given the COVID-19 health emergency, it has not proved possible to run our usual training events in Grangemouth. In response to demand from delegates, we are running a series of Spring 2021 training events on-line through the highly successful GoToWebinar and Microsoft Teams platforms. This will allows for a full training day but spread over two mornings and will allow for full audience interaction and Q&A sessions in addition to a full training presentation.

IRRV is pleased to advise of this important training event on complaints handling.

Complaint handling - the law and how it affects you : Complaint handling - the law, the complainer and you.

Scotland has had a statutory complaints procedure for nineteen years. The Ombudsman has published an updated Model Complaints Handling Procedure (31st January 2020) and Authorities have until April 2021 to bring their procedures into line.

This course provides training on the statutory standards to deal with complaints.

Dealing with complaints can be stressful for Authority staff and members of the public. This course will provide insights to understand why people make complaints, how to satisfy complaints and some tools for managing difficult behaviours.

This course will be of interest to all IRRV members, managers and supervisors. It will be delivered by webinar over two half-day sessions.

Session one – Statutory requirements and the SPSO.

  • The 2002 Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act


  • Enforcement – the powers and the limits on what the SPSO can investigate


  • The 2020 Model Complaints Handling Procedure and what has changed


  • What is a complaint under the law


  • Investigations and reviews

Session two – The human aspects of complaints

  • Why people complain


  • The needs of complainers and how to meet them


  • Resolving complaints and apologies


  • Handling complaints with data protection, freedom of information and confidentiality issues


  • The effect of complaints on complain handlers

At the end of the course, delegates will have :

  • An understanding of your authority’s obligations for handling complaints.

  • An understanding of the consequences of complaints for you and your Authority.

  • Managing the relationship with the person making the complaint.

  • Managing ourselves when dealing with complaints.

  • How to make a good apology.

The course will be led by John Harding. John has over 30 years' experience administering benefits and Council Tax in Edinburgh. In that time he has acquired extensive practice in investigating, preparing and presenting appeals to Review Boards, Appeals Tribunals and the Valuation Appeal Committee as well as negotiating complaint outcomes with the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman.

The workshop represents excellent value for money, with seminar fees starting at only £165 + VAT. We have held delegate charges at 2019 levels and, in addition, every third place from the same organisation booked in the same booking comes entirely free of charge.

A full booking form is available here