Complaints FAQs

  1. How to make a complaint
  2. Social Work complaints
  3. Education complaints
  4. What is a complaint?
  5. What is not a complaint?
  6. Who can complain and can I get help to complain?
  7. How long do I have to make a complaint?
  8. When can I expect a response to my complaint about the Council?
  9. Is there an independent, impartial organisation that can investigate my complaint against the Council?

How to make a complaint

See our make a complaint page.

Social Work complaints

There is no longer a separate complaints procedure for Social Work complaints. These are dealt with in line with the Council procedure.

Education complaints

If you want to make a complaint about a school or nursery, please contact the school headteacher or nursery headteacher or manager in the first instance.

What is a complaint?

We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.

You can complain about things like:

  • delays in responding to your enquiries and requests
  • failure to provide a service
  • our standard of service
  • council policy
  • treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
  • disagreement with a decision where you cannot use an appeal procedure to resolve the matter
  • our failure to follow proper procedure

Your complaint may involve more than one council service or be about someone working on our behalf.

What is not a complaint?

  • a first-time request for a service
  • a request for compensation only
  • issues that are in court or have already been heard by a court or a tribunal
  • disagreement with a decision where a statutory right of appeal exists, for example in relation to council tax or planning
  • an attempt to reopen a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision.

If you are requesting a service, you can report this to us by using the following links:

Who can complain and can I get help to complain?

Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate.

If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone, we will respond directly to them unless you have permission from the person you are representing to act on their behalf. We would require confirmation from the person you are complaining for that you will be acting as their representative, preferably written confirmation.

If you would like assistance from an advocate, you can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance on 0131 510 9410 or on their website (

How long do I have to make a complaint?

Normally, you must make your complaint within twelve months of the event you want to complain about.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

When can I expect a response to my complaint about the Council?

There are two stages within the Complaints Procedure.

Stage one: Frontline

We aim to resolve complaints quickly. We will give you our decision at Stage One in five working days or less unless there are exceptional circumstances. If we require longer than 5 working days, we will inform you and provide you with a revised timescale.

If we can't resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next, which may be to take your complaint to the next stage in the complaints process.

Stage two: Investigation

When using Stage Two we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days. We will provide a full response as soon as possible and within 20 working days. If our investigation takes longer, we will tell you and agree on revised time limits and keep you updated on progress.

Is there an independent, impartial organisation that can investigate my complaint against the Council?

We will make every effort to resolve any problems or complaints that you may have about the Council or any of our services. However, on the rare occasions when people remain dissatisfied, they can ask the following independent, impartial organisation to investigate:

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO)

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman is the final stage for complaints about public services in Scotland. This includes complaints about Scottish councils. If you remain dissatisfied, you can ask the SPSO to look at your complaint. The SPSO will only consider complaints which have completed all stages of the Council's complaints procedure so you should contact the Council in the first instance.

The SPSO cannot normally look at complaints:

where you have not gone all the way through the council's complaints handling procedure more than 12 months after you became aware of the matter you want to complain about, or that have been or are being considered in court.

First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing & Property Chamber)

If you are a factored homeowner in one of our high-rise blocks and you remain unhappy with the Council's response, you can take certain complaints to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing & Property Chamber).

Please also see the Factoring Complaints Procedure – Summary (MS Word, 44KB) on our Factoring webpage.

Care Inspectorate

If your complaint relates to a care service we provide, you can choose whether to complain to us or the Care Inspectorate.

The Care Inspectorate has several offices around Scotland.

Scottish Housing Regulator

If you are a Falkirk Council tenant and have concerns about our performance, you can raise it with the Scottish Housing Regulator as a Serious Performance Failure.

Falkirk Integration Joint Board

If you are dissatisfied with the action of the Falkirk Integration Joint Board, lack of action, or the standard of service the Board has provided in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities then you can make a complaint to them.