This course has passed.


Written complaints can come in the form of an angry letter, a negative online review or an agitated email. These can be uncomfortable or difficult to deal with, but they must be dealt with properly to continually improve service delivery.

Attend our long-standing Effective Responses to Complaints in the Public Sector training course, led by Communications Expert, Sue Calthorpe, to write more efficient, empathic responses that show the reader they’ve been understood and heard.

Leave the day with best practices from real-life examples, the ability to assess and plan your response, how to summaries complex or sensitive information and create more compelling responses.

trainer photo
Sue Calthorpe
Media & Communications Specialist

Susan works with organisations and individuals to improve their written communications skills.

She worked as a regional and national newspaper journalist before setting up a full-service communications company, now established for 30 years.

She works with public and private sector organisations to help with:

  • Effective emails
  • Report writing
  • Briefings and submissions
  • Persuasive and influential writing techniques
  • Promotional writing
  • Effective complaint handling
  • Communicating complex information for non-technical readers.

Her recent clients include Legal & General, HSBC, BRIT, the Law ...

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Learning Outcomes

  • Review successful examples of complaint responses
  • Find out how you can effectively assess and plan your reply
  • Appraise the complaints letter writing process in your own organisation
  • Learn methods to better collaborate with colleagues to develop responses
  • Utilise the gained skills to create your own roadmap and best practice moving forward
All the Understanding ModernGov courses are Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified, with signed certificates available upon request for event.

Enquire About In-House Training

To speak to someone about a bespoke training programme, please contact us:
0800 542 9414
[email protected]


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09:00 - 09:30


09:30 - 10:00

Trainer’s Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:45

Complaints in the Public Sector: What is Working and What Needs Improving?

  • Gain an overview of trends and insightnto the most common complaints for public sector organisations
  • Understand the effects that complaints have on both staff and the people who depend on the level of service they provide
10:45 - 11:30

Analysing Examples of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Practice

  • Assess a range of real-life correspondence
  • Identify best practice and receive expert comments on style, tone, vocabulary, presentation of facts and evidence
11:30 - 11:45

Morning Break

11:45 - 12:45

Assessing and Planning Your Reply

  • Identify ‘trigger’ points within a complaint
  • Develop planning tools to create a suitable reply
  • Understand how correspondents want their complaint handled and what they expect from the reply
12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:30

Summarising Complex Information

  • Introduce a six-part grid to help with this process
  • Ensure that your response is delivered efficiently
  • Learn to summarise complex information into a language and structure that can be easily understood
14:30 - 16:00

Creating Compelling Correspondence

In this practical session, you will have the opportunity to create your own best practise with the aid of the trainer

  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Develop your own best practice
  • Utilise skills developed throughout the day to create letters
16:00 - 16:15

Round Up and Key Takeaways


Central Cardiff


“This is honestly the best one-day course I have ever attended – Susan’s knowledge and know how are astounding.”
Effective Responses to Complaints in the Public Sector Head of Nursing, BCUHB
“Brilliant course. Every manager involved in responding to complaints should attend.”
Effective Responses to Complaints in the Public Sector Consultant in A&E, Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust
“Sue was so knowledgeable, engaging + excellent. Very useful examples + great examples used”
Effective Written Responses to Complaints in Education Appeals & Complaints Officer, Goldsmith University