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Complaints process

How it works

Stage 1

We aim to resolve complaints quickly and close to where we provided the service.  This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong, and immediate action to resolve the problem. Where possible, your concerns should be raised with the relevant staff member, tutor, university representative or student services office. This can be done face-to-face, by phone, in writing or by email.

We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If you are not satisfied with the response we give at this stage, we will tell you what you can do next. If you choose to, you can take your complaint to Stage 2 of the complaints procedure. You may choose to do this immediately or up to ten working days after you get our initial decision.

Stage 2 complaints form - You may use this form to register a complaint at stage two.

Stage 2

Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.  We have a complaint form, which will help you to state your complaint clearly to us. Although we will also accept complaints that are made in person or on the phone, we encourage you to complete the complaint form in the interests of clarity and in order to best assist the investigation process.

When using Stage 2 we will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days
  • discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
  • give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

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.

Stage 3

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:

  • a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO)
  • events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago
  • a matter that has been or is being considered in court.


You can contact the SPSO:


Freephone:  0800 377 7330

Online contact www.spso.org.uk/contact-us

Website:  www.spso.org.uk

Mobile site:  http://m.spso.org.uk