This course has passed.


By writing more effective responses to complaints, your organisation can improve its reputation; rebuild trust with victims and general public and avoid escalation of complaints to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Our Writing Effective Responses to Complaints in the Police course equips you with the necessary writing skills to help you deal with complaints more efficiently and quickly, in line with your organisation and the public’s expectations.

Through group discussion, practical exercises and individual feedback from Communications Specialist, Sue Calthorpe, gain valuable skills and techniques to resolve complaints.

Leave the day with the confidence and tools to write more compelling responses to complaints.

Unlocking the Power of Virtual

Our virtual courses have been designed with you in mind. From group exercises in breakout rooms to live chat, whiteboards and interactive polls, we use a range of tools and techniques to ensure that you can connect with your trainer; network and share best practices with your peers and leave the day with the skills you need.

Our courses provide you with an interactive and engaging learning environment that can be accessed from any location, helping you to continue to connect, learn and grow.

Please note we will be using Zoom to virtually deliver this course.

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

  • Effectively assess and plan your reply
  • Create credible correspondence moving forward
  • Learn from best practice how to respond to a complaint
  • Gain techniques to respond to a range of complaints, whether through social media or letter writing
  • Identify the ‘trigger point’ to ensure you answer the question
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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09:25 - 09:30


09:30 - 10:00

Trainer’s Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:45

Complaints in the Police: What’s Working and What Needs to Improve

  • What are the trends in complaints against the police?
  • What experience do you need to handle complaints well?
  • How do other organisations handle complaints: which systems work well?
  • Understand the effect complaints have on staff, victims of crime and their families
10:45 - 11:30

Best and Bad Practice

  • A nine-step process to creating effective complaint responses
  • Assess a range of real-life correspondence: emails, social media posts and letters
  • Identify best practice use of style, tone, vocabulary, presentation of facts, evidence and expert comment
11:30 - 11:45

Morning Break

11:45 - 13:00

Assessing and Planning Your Reply

  • Use appropriate style and tone of voice
  • Understand data protection and consent issues
  • Know when and where it is appropriate to respond
  • Develop planning tools to create a suitable reply
  • Identify ‘trigger’ points from correspondence to provide better responses
  • Understand how writers want their complaint handled and what they expect from the reply
13:00 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:00

Reflection Session

  • Trainer will review the day’s learning and the next stages of the course
  • Delegates will have time to ask questions and share views with one another
14:00 - 14:45

Practical Exercise in Complaint Handling

Create a response using the four-box grid to embed the learning from the morning session.

  • Practise planning a response
  • Use objective criteria to deliver excellent peer feedback to help colleagues with constructive critique
14:45 - 16:00

Using the Planning Grid in Real Life

In this practical session, examine three real life complaints and their responses to embed today’s lessons learnt.

16:00 - 16:15

Round Up and Key Takeaways


“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