Service providers are expected to have well-developed complaints handling procedures in place. It is expected that, where any problems are identified, public service providers will quickly fix the mistake and make sure it does not occur again.

Guidelines for public service providers are available below

Model complaints system and policy

The Ombudsman provides a guide to developing a system for complaints.

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Six rules for getting it right – the Ombudsman’s guide to good public administration

This guide uses the experience of the Office of the Ombudsman to highlight six key elements of good public administration. Its purpose is to help public service providers provide a first-class service to their customers.

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The Ombudsman's guide to the provision of redress

Where a person has been wronged by a public service provider, that body should provide appropriate action or compensation. This leaflet gives very broad proposals on action or compensation to help public servants develop a consistent approach. We do not always seek compensation or indeed receive it if we do request it.

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The Ombudsman's guide to standards of best practice for public servants

The guide was originally published by the Ombudsman with its 1996 Annual Report. This updated version was published as an insert to the 2002 Annual Report.

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The Ombudsman's guide to making a meaningful apology

If a service has been wrongly denied or delayed, the public service provider should always give a detailed explanation and/or an apology. This guidance note describes what an apology is and what you need to do for an apology to be meaningful.

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Guidance for Private Nursing Homes

The Ombudsman can handle complaints relating to administrative actions of private nursing homes.

The Ombudsman has published guidelines for private nursing homes to support them in providing their services.

A factsheet that explains what you can do if you have a complaint about a private nursing home is also available. 

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Model complaints system for nursing homes

A model complaint system for nursing homes, including a model complaints policy and complaint form.

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Complaint form template for nursing homes

A Word document version of the model complaint form for general use.

Download the form template (.docx)

Complaints policy template for nursing homes

A Word document version of the model complaint policy for general use.

Download the policy template (.docx)

Six rules for getting it right – the Ombudsman’s guide to good public administration

This guide uses the experience of the Office of the Ombudsman to highlight six key elements of good public administration. Its purpose is to help public service providers provide a first-class service to their customers. 

Download the Six rules for getting it right (.pdf)

Redress – getting it wrong and putting it right

This leaflet explains how private nursing homes can provide redress when things go wrong. 

Read more on Redress – getting it wrong and putting it right