Complaint Standards Framework: Summary of core expectations

Executive summary

An effective complaint handling system…

Promotes a learning and improvement culture through supporting the entire organisation to see concerns and 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 feedback.  The organisation regularly talks to its managers and leaders and the public about what it has learnt from feedback and how it has used the feedback to improve services for everyone. Staff receive regular support and training to deliver best practice in handling feedback.

Positively seeks feedback, to act on concerns and complaints and to recognise this as a positive way to improve services.  It creates a positive experience by welcoming feedback and making it easy for people to raise concerns or make a complaint.  Staff have the freedom to resolve issues quickly and to the satisfaction of everybody.

Is thorough and fair when looking into concerns and complaints and gives an open and honest answer as quickly as possible in light of the complexity of the issues. It makes sure people who give feedback - and staff involved in the issues - have their say and are kept updated when carrying out this work.  It always makes sure people can see what staff are doing to look into the issues in a fair and objective way based on the facts. 

Gives a fair and accountable decision about what happened and whether mistakes occurred or not. The decision recognises the experience of everybody concerned to ensure a culture of learning and accountability. The system makes sure staff have the confidence and freedom to offer fair remedies to put things right when needed, and to take action to make sure any learning is identified and acted on to improve services.


Diagram showing the four pillars of the Complaint Standards Framework