Complaints procedure

A complaint may come from any individual, organisation, trainer, or centre.

Complaints may be made verbally or in writing by email or post. Written complaints may be sent to:

Business Support Manager,
Alcohol Focus Scotland,
166 Buchanan Street,
G1 2LW

or by email to

Verbal complaints may be made by phone to 0141 572 6700 or in person to any member of staff at 166 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, G1 2LW. A written record of telephone complaints will be held by Alcohol Focus Scotland.

All complaints must be lodged within three months of the incident.

Alcohol Focus Scotland’s complaints policy and procedure provides a commitment to individuals/organisations that in handling complaints Alcohol Focus Scotland will:

  • Provide a fair complaints procedure that is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
  • Publicise the existence of the complaints procedure so that people know how to contact the organisation to make a complaint.
  • Make sure Alcohol Focus Scotland’s staff know what to do if a complaint is received.
  • Make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
  • Make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
  • Gather information that helps the organisation to improve what it does.

Complaints procedure

Stage One

A complaint may be resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate.

Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint information will be recorded by the appropriate line manager. If the complaint is about a member of staff the line manager will investigate the complaint in accordance with the disciplinary policy.

Complainants will receive an acknowledgement advising who is managing the complaint within 10 working days.

Alcohol Focus Scotland will aim where possible to provide a definitive response within four weeks describing the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Stage Two

If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One, they can appeal the outcome of the stage one investigation and request that the complaint is reviewed by the Chief Executive (unless the complaint is about the Chief Executive, in which case the appeal will be reviewed by the Board). The Chief Executive will review the complaint and the stage one investigation. The complainant will be notified of the outcome of this investigation within four weeks from the receipt of the appeal.

Stage Three

If, having followed the complaints system, the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, they have the right to complain to the Board. This should be addressed to the Chief Executive who will present the complaint to the Board. The request for Board level review should be acknowledged by the Chief Executive within 10 working days of receiving it. The acknowledgement should say which member of the Board will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply. The investigation and the decision of the Board is final.


For Licensing Board Member and Licensing Standards Officer Training only:

Escalating a complaint: Where a complainant provider or learner remains dissatisfied after the Alcohol Focus Scotland Complaints policy has been exhausted, the complaint can be escalated to our regulator: SQA Accreditation.

SQA Accreditation, The Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow G2 8DQ.



Updated: 05/03/2024

Next Review: April 2025

The figures

> 1 in 5
people exceeded drinking guidelines in 2022