How to complain

Have you applied for a public appointment? Are you unhappy with the treatment you received?

On this page we provide advice on making a complaint about public appointments.

We believe that complaints are valuable to us and to the Scottish Government. Complaints help us to identify if something has gone wrong. For us, dealing with complaints effectively means putting measures in place to ensure that the same things don’t go wrong again in future.


Making a complaint about a public appointment

If you have a complaint about a public appointment you first have to complain to the Scottish Government and give it a chance to respond to your complaint.

If you are unhappy with the Scottish Government’s response to your complaint you can then ask us to investigate the matter for you.

The type of issues the Commissioner can investigate include

  • whether an appointment round was fair and whether the people selected for interview or appointed were chosen on merit

  • whether an applicant has been poorly treated or discriminated against

  • whether the Scottish Government checked the probity of candidates and any conflicts of interest they may have.

The type of issues the Commissioner can’t investigate include

  • appointments to posts or to bodies that the Commissioner doesn’t regulate. A list of regulated bodies is available on our website.

Also, we are very unlikely to investigate complaints about appointments made more than a year ago. This leaflet gives specific guidance on how we handle complaints about the public appointments process.


In addition to regulating the public appointments process, the Commissioner investigates complaints about the activities of board members once they appointed.

Read more about making a complaint about the conduct of existing board members >


Making a complaint about us

Please contact us if you want to make a complaint or if you have any questions about our work. Alternatively you can find out more about how to complain about us in our downloadable leaflet.