Complaint Handling Reports

In line with the requirements of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), the University has a two-stage procedure (CHP) for handling complaints.

Stage 1 Frontline Resolution is used in the majority of cases, with likely outcomes being an on-the-spot apology, an explanation or other action to resolve the complaint very quickly (usually within five working days). Stage 2 Complaint Investigation is appropriate where attempts at Frontline Resolution have failed, or where the issue is sufficiently complex, serious or high risk from the outset that Frontline Resolution would not be appropriate.

The University is committed to reporting regularly on:

1) performance statistics detailing complaint volumes, types and key performance information, for example on time taken and stage at which complaints were resolved


2) the trends and outcomes of complaints and the actions taken in response including examples to demonstrate how complaints have helped improve services


Complaint Report 2022-23 (143.03 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2021-22 (72.37 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2020-21 (59.39 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2019-20 (65.64 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2018-19 (115.01 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2017-18 (187.06 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2016-17 (119.94 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2015-16 (118.82 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2014-15 (118.49 KB / PDF)
Complaint Report 2013-14 (118.37 KB / PDF)


Learning Outcomes and Service Improvements (from 2014-15 onwards)

In the significant majority of complaint cases, we are able to resolve matters without the need for a Stage 2 investigation, and we are proud of our ability across the University to respond to most complaints at the ‘frontline’ level. Even where a complaint is not upheld, we seek to identify learning points or aspects where a different approach at an earlier stage might have resolved matters. Due to the small number of cases which result in a Stage 2 investigation, giving details of such learning points could allow an individual case to be identified. For this reason, the examples below are not broken down by year.

As a result of complaint investigations, we have:

  • expanded our induction programme for tutors in one School;
  • increased the provision of briefing sessions on the Complaint Handling Procedure (CHP) for staff across the University;
  • made amendments to the form to be completed by complainants;
  • contributed to the review of processes in one area of student support;
  • reviewed postgraduate application handling procedures in a large graduate school;
  • introduced a Support for Study policy, designed to provide an alternative to the Code of Student Conduct in cases where a student’s behaviour is thought to be related to health concerns;
  • initiated discussions on improved handling of cases which involve other procedures, such as student conduct or human resources.