This vacancy has now closed

Top job! Head of Improvement, Standards and Engagement

  • Full time
  • £59,940 – £69,617
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 23rd February 2021

  • Advertised from 11th February 2021
  • 35 hours per week, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. Permanent.
  • 40.5 days of annual leave including public holidays (full time equivalent), Flexible working arrangements, Civil Service Pension Scheme arrangements, Life Assurance scheme, Employee Assistance Programme.


The SPSO is the final stage for complaints about organisations providing public services in Scotland. SPSO’s remit is broad, the Ombudsman:

  • is the final stage for complaints about most of the Scottish public sector
  • provides the independent review service for applications to the Scottish Welfare Fund
  • is the Complaints Standards Authority (CSA), which sets and monitors application of statutory model complaint handling procedures
  • is, from 1 April 2021, the Independent National Whistleblowing Officer for the NHS in Scotland.

Reporting to the Ombudsman and as part of SPSO’s Leadership Team, The Head of Improvement Standards and Engagement (Head of ISE) is responsible for leading a small team responsible for a broad range of functions. These include:

  • Complaints Standards Authority
  • Learning and Improvement function
  • Policy and Legal service
  • Training delivery
  • Communications (internal and external)
  • Corporate responsibility for Customer Service Complaints

The ISE team has a key role in driving up the standards of complaints handling across Scotland’s public sector through the work of the Complaints Standards Authority, learning from complaints, communications and training. As the Head of ISE, you will be responsible for managing critical pieces of work and in doing so, prepare and sponsor Leadership Team updates to inform progress and outcomes. You will represent SPSO at external events including evidence sessions at the Scottish Parliament, and with other key stakeholders as required.

You will have a minimum of two years’ experience in a leadership capacity with responsibility and demonstrable experience of developing policy and strategy, driving business performance against agreed targets and managing and developing an effective team. You will have a proven track record in building and maintaining collaborative relationships at a senior level and with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, demonstrating strong interpersonal, networking, negotiating, persuasion and influencing skills. Well-developed written and oral communication skills with the ability to clearly articulate messages to a variety of audiences and influence others towards a common goal or vision are essential to this role. You will also have experience of managing change with the ability to ensure priorities are achieved on time whilst creating a positive culture for improvement and constructively challenging the status quo.

Application notes

If you are interested in joining an organisation that enjoys challenge and strives for continuous improvement, please visit for an application pack.

For further information, please visit our website or contact 0131 243 0982 or

Closing date: 5pm on Tuesday 23 February 2021

Interviews: Likely to be held after w/c 8 March 2021

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of applications by 3 March 21. Interviews will be held remotely through video conferencing and candidates shortlisted for interview will be notified of the next stage of the process by 3 March 21.

Equal Opportunities Statement:

We are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and in the service provided to complainants. No job applicant, staff member or person receiving a service from us will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex, marital status, or racial grounds or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes including beliefs or opinions, such as religious beliefs or political opinions.

We are totally opposed to discrimination. We are committed to conducting the business in a way that is fair to everyone. This may mean taking positive steps to ensure equal opportunities for staff involved in staff selection, staff management and service delivery.