Tackling Complaints can be a challenge for any TPO and/or tenant.

In a recent TPAS webinar we heard from Val Malloch from the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) talking about how Officers and tenants deal with challenging behaviour when someone is making a complaint or when the complaint is made against them.

Many people can be affected when a complaint is raised; from the staff dealing with the complaint, tenants reporting the complaint, to the person the complaint is being made against.
Val highlighted certain zero tolerance policy situations resulting from someone being abusive or violent. But how do you deal with a compliant when someone who is emotional, finds it difficult to
communicate or has mental health issues?

The SPSO has recognized that since their policy was formed in 2015 the world has changed and now people are being threatened with instances such as ‘live streaming’ or posts on Facebook, so they are currently reviewing their policy to include these instances.

Key features of the updated policy will include;

  • Governance – support from above
  • Behaviour not the person
  • Staff discretion within boundaries
  • Auditable and challengeable decisions
  • Not being persistent

We agreed that staff and tenants need support and advice on how deal with complaints and that each complaint should be dealt with individually. Key things to consider include how that person is
feeling, explain your procedure clearly and ensure they know your limitations in resolving the issue if it is a complex case.

For more information on the SPSO and their guidelines around the complaints process visit www.spso.org.uk

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