Complaints handling procedure

The University of St Andrews recognises that there may be occasions when a student or member of the public feels that the level of service or treatment that they have received from the University has fallen short of what might reasonably be expected.

The University has developed and implemented a complaints procedure that is compliant with the Scottish Higher Education Model Complaints Handling Procedure, published by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). The University's complaints handling procedure is composed of four documents, which can be accessed below. You may wish to consult the Guidance document first, as that provides an overview of the complaints handling procedure. If you have any questions about the University's complaint handling procedure, please email

The University has separate procedures for dealing with academic appeals.

Annual reports

The University is required to present a report to the SPSO annually on the operation of its complaints handling procedure. 

At the beginning of each academic year, the University will present to the Audit and Risk Committee a report on the operation of its complaints handling procedures for the previous session. The Audit and Risk Committee will review the effectiveness of the operation of University complaints processes. Details of these annual reports will also be made known to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman, in line with the implementation guidelines for the operation of the Scottish Higher Education Model Complaints Handling Procedure.


Mediation can be an alternative means to resolve complaints, outside the University Complaints Handling Procedure. Mediation is a confidential, informal, voluntary, self-determined and without prejudice process. It provides a framework within which participants can communicate their perspectives and find constructive mutually agreeable outcomes.

Contact or find out more on the mediation webpage.