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5. Complaints and Appeals Procedure

5. Complaints and Appeals Procedure


Complaints Procedure

We aim to resolve complaints or appeals about our service quickly, and, whenever possible, in a simple and straightforward way.

If you have a complaint about our service, our staff or an appeal about the result of an inspection, the Scottish Government will work with you to resolve the issue. If something has gone wrong we will try to resolve the problem quickly and implement any improvements that are needed to prevent similar mistakes in future.

The FHI complaints and appeals procedure does not deal with the policy underpinning fish health regulation which is a matter outside the control of the Fish Health Inspectorate. If you have a query or complaint about policy matters you should address it to the Aquaculture Unit team leader within Marine Scotland - Aquaculture, Crown Estate, Recreational Fisheries, EMFF and Europe.


Stage One –

Initially, we ask that you contact the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) and working with you, we will aim to achieve frontline resolution which is Stage One of the Complaints Handling Procedures.  We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and aim to resolve complaints informally within five working days.   Your complaint or appeal will be investigated by the FHI Group Leader or a member of the FHI Technical Management team.

You can inform us by telephone, by e-mail or writing to the below address. 

Tel: 0131 244 3498

E-mail: Ms.fishhealth@gov.scot


Fish Health Inspectorate

Marine Scotland Science

375 Victoria Road


AB11 9DB


Any complaints relating to UKAS accredited procedures will be considered under the complaints procedure defined in the MSS Quality System.

If we cannot resolve your complaint to your satisfaction you can escalate your complaint to stage 2 of the complaints procedure.


Stage Two –

Most complaints should be resolved at the first stage.  However, if you are dissatisfied with the initial response you can request that your complaint be passed to an investigating officer.  The investigating officer will be a senior member of staff within Marine Scotland, unconnected to the Fish Health Inspectorate.


The investigating officer will acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receipt.  Where appropriate, they may discuss the complaint with you to understand why your remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are seeking.


The investigating officer will provide you a response within 20 working days, setting out the background, the findings of their investigation and any recommendations following completion of their investigation.


If the investigation will take longer than 20 working days the investigating officer will update you of the delay and will agree a revised time limit with you.


If you remain dissatisfied –

If you remain dissatisfied after the full investigation you may refer your complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to investigate.

The SPSO is the final stage for complaints about public services in Scotland and may be able to take up a complaint on your behalf.  The Ombudsman will normally only be able to act if you have followed the steps above.

To find out about the Ombudsman’s work, refer to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman website or submit your complaint in writing to: