UK Central Government Complaint Standards

Complaint Standards at a glance

An effective complaint handling system...

Promotes a learning culture by supporting the entire organisation to see complaints as an opportunity to develop and improve its services and people. It sets clear expectations to embed an open, non-defensive approach to learning from complaints. The organisation regularly talks to its managers, leaders and service users about what it has learnt from complaints and how it has used learning to improve services for everyone. Colleagues receive regular support and appropriate training to deliver best practice in handling complaints.

Welcomes complaints in a positive way and recognises them as important insight into how to improve services. It creates a positive experience by making it easy for service users to make a complaint. Colleagues have the freedom to resolve issues quickly and to everyone’s satisfaction.

Is thorough and fair when looking into complaints and gives an open and honest answer as quickly as possible in light of the complexity of the issues. It makes sure service users who make complaints, and colleagues directly involved in the issues, have their say and are kept updated when they carry out this work. It always makes sure service users can see what colleagues are doing to look into the issues in a fair and objective way, based on the facts.

Gives fair and accountable responses that set out what happened and whether mistakes were made. Each response fairly reflects the experiences of everyone involved and makes sure organisations take accountability when needed. It gives colleagues the confidence and freedom to offer fair remedies to put things right, and to take action to make sure any learning is identified and used to improve services.