A revised model for public sector complaints handling

The SPSO’s Complaints Standards Authority*, first introduced its Model Complaint Handling Procedures (MCHPs) for the public sector in 2012. They have proven to be an innovative, effective approach to simplifying and improving public sector complaints handling.  

The beauty of these MCHPs is that they promote common sector-wide complaints procedures, while being flexible enough to support local processes – enabling faster, appropriate complaint resolution. The standardised data collected allows for improved reporting and analysis, supporting continuous improvement.

MCHPs are available for local authority, housing, further and higher education, NHS and social work, as well as government, parliament and associated authorities in Scotland.

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) announced a revision to the MCHPs on 31 January 2020.

It’s great to see the Ombudsman practice what it preaches. The revisions are based on lessons learned from feedback from the organisations under the SPSO’s jurisdiction, issues identified during SPSO’s own casework, as well as recent research and good practice.

It is also interesting to see the PHSO (Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman) in England is in the process of building a new NHS -wide Complaints Standards Framework, citing the Scottish Ombudsman’s model in their research findings.

Scottish public sector bodies are required to implement the revised MCHPs over the coming business year, and no later than 1 April 2021. The new revised procedures can be found here.

SPSO use Workpro complaints management software to manage all casework. Workpro comes with a built in three-stage complaints handling workflow: Frontline, Investigation and Review. It is also highly configurable and flexible, so can support individual variations in process and terminology. 

Learn more about Workpro for Complaints Management

*The CSA’s purpose is to “support continuous improvement in complaints handling by guiding all public service providers under our remit towards a simplified, standardised complaints procedure, which puts the service user at the heart of the process, focuses on early resolution, and values complaints as tools for feedback, learning and improvement.”