Effective Complaint Handling in Planning

What it is

A one-day skills course on investigating Planning complaints developed and delivered by our experienced complaint handlers. Participants can draw on knowledge gained from our experience of over four decades of complaints investigation. The course trainer will have experience of dealing with Planning complaints and will have knowledge of the authority’s complaints procedure.

Who it is for

For officers, managers and team leaders whose jobs involve investigating Planning complaints at the higher stage of the complaints procedure.

What it does 

By the end of the course learners will be able to:

  • list five things that are important to people when they complain
  • describe the complaint handling process
  • accurately identify, define and summarise complaints
  • list five sources of evidence useful for investigations
  • investigate a complaint and reach evidence-based conclusions
  • identify appropriate and proportionate remedies for injustice
  • write a comprehensive decision letter
  • explain how complaints can be used to drive service improvements

How it is done

The course is interactive using a variety of activities and materials including:

  • participants’ experiences of making complaints and our experience of what can go wrong, research findings on what contributes to customer satisfaction and trust in service providers, a troubleshooting exercise to consider the problems staff encounter and possible solutions
  • Participants work on a case study based on a real Planning complaint to us. Using their expertise and drawing on the experience of the trainer, they define, investigate and reach a conclusion on a complaint. The trainer explains the principles applied by us for resolving complaints and this is applied to the case study
  • The trainer offers guidance and tips throughout the day on applying our principles of good practice in investigating complaints


Cost: £1,500 for 18 people
Based on authority providing venue and refreshments
Duration: 10am - 4pm

One-day course for a group of up to 18, with one trainer: £1,500.

No extra charge is made for trainer’s travel and expenses. Prices assume you will supply the venue and refreshments for the course.

Authorities with fewer than 18 staff to put forward for training may wish to get together with neighbouring authorities to hold a regional Ombudsman training event, and so share the costs.