Complaints Handling Procedure

The University seeks to consistently deliver an excellent student experience and high quality service provision within its broader community. We recognise however that situations may occasionally arise where a member of the University community feels that the level of service they have received has not met expectations.

The University of Stirling Complaints Handling Procedure sets out the process that the University follows where a complaint is received. It reflects the University’s commitment to: dealing effectively with complaints; seeking to resolve issues of dissatisfaction as close to the initial point of contact as possible: and where appropriate, conducting thorough and fair investigations so that robust decisions can be made on the outcomes of complaints.

Universities in Scotland are all required to operate The Scottish Higher Education Model Complaints Handling Procedure published by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). The University of Stirling Complaints Handling Procedure has therefore been developed in line with this.

The procedure involves up to two stages.

Stage One –  Frontline resolution

Seeks to resolve straightforward complaints swiftly and effectively at the source of the concern or issue.

Stage Two – Investigation

Appropriate where a complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of frontline resolution, or where frontline resolution is not possible or appropriate due to the complexity or seriousness of the case.

These two stages represent the full scope of the University’s procedure. Where a complainant remains dissatisfied at the conclusion of the University’s complaints process, a request can be made to the SPSO for an independent review the complaint. The SPSO is the final stage for complaints about universities in Scotland. 

Making a complaint

If you are considering making a complaint to the University, please first:

  • Read through the University of Stirling Complaints Handling Procedure and the Guide to Making a Complaint
  • Try to sort out the problem with those who are directly involved if you feel able to do so, either by discussing the matter in person, on the phone or by email, or if you would prefer, by completing the Complaint Form and passing the form to those directly involved. Generally complaints are resolved more easily and effectively at the Frontline Resolution stage (Stage 1) and by those who have a direct influence on the situation.

If a complaint cannot be resolved at Stage One, please submit a completed University of Stirling Complaint Form to

Complaints handling reports

You can access our annual reports on complaints handling here: