We value complaints and consider whether lessons can be learned to improve our services.
If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, please tell us. This section describes our complaints procedure and how to make a complaint. It also tells you about our Standards of Service and what you can expect from us.
We carry out our business in line with our Standards of Service. If you feel we haven't upheld our standards, you can make a complaint to us. More information on making a complaint is available below.
We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.
You can complain about things like:
The complaints handling process is also there to deal with instances where there is a disagreement with a decision made by us and no other appeal route exists to resolve the matter.
Your complaint may involve more than one service or be about someone working on our behalf.
If your complaint about a member of staff requires to be investigated, that person will be consulted about the incident and asked for their views but they will not be involved in looking in to the complaint.
The Director of Operations has responsiblity for handling any complaints about the Commissioner, including whether it should be referred to an external agency.
There are some things we can't deal with through our complaints handling procedure. These include:
If other procedures or rights of appeal can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you.
Anyone can make a complaint to us and we accept complaints brought by third parties and the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. Please also read the section on 'getting help to make your complaint' below.
Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of first knowing about the problem.
In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.
You can complain in writing or by email to the contact details below.
It is easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the relevant department. So, please talk to a member of our staff there and they will try to resolve any complaint 'on-the-spot'.
When complaining, please tell us:
Our complaints procedure has two stages:
Stage 1 – frontline resolution
We aim to resolve complaints quickly and easily, which could mean an 'on-the-spot' apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong, and immediate action to resolve the problem.
We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If we can't resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next. We might suggest that you take your complaint to Stage 2. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial decision.
Stage 2 – investigation
Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex, serious and require detailed investigation.
When using Stage 2 we will:
If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.
After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.
The SPSO cannot normally look at complaints:
You can contact the SPSO:
4 Melville Street
We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you. If this is the case, we will need to write back to you to verify you have given this consent.
You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.
We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community and will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. If you have trouble putting your complaint in writing, or would like this information in another language or format, please contact us at the details below.
Please contact us in writing, by email or by phone:
Head of HR and Corporate Services
Police Investigations & Review Commissioner
Hamilton Business Park
Switchboard: 01698 542 900