Oversight & Research
The SLCC investigates and determines complaints about service, but complaints which are assessed as conduct are investigated by the relevant professional organisation (RPO). Our role in strengthening public confidence about conduct complaints has several aspects.
Firstly, as the single gateway for legal complaints, we decide whether a complaint should be accepted for investigation or not under our eligibility process. Secondly, where a complainer is dissatisfied with how a conduct complaint has been investigated, we can review how this was done and if necessary tell the RPO to reinvestigate, sharing any concerns which we have with the parties to the original conduct complaint. The SLCC also has powers to order the RPOs to pay complainers limited compensation, if it considers it appropriate to do so. These are called handling complaints. Thirdly, we have oversight powers to audit the systems and processes which the RPOs use in investigating and determining conduct complaints and to bring any areas which we think could be improved to their attention, making recommendations and giving guidance if appropriate.
The SLCC also has a duty to oversee how practitioners deal with complaints and how they deal with matters that result in complaints being made to the SLCC. The SLCC monitors practitioners' compliance with the complaint process and where deficiencies and or concerns are identified, these are brought to the attention of the RPO.
In some cases, the SLCC has asked the RPO to consider dealing with the matter as a potential conduct complaint against the practitioner concerned.
The SLCC intends to provide more extensive complaint handling guidance over the course of the next year.