Quality & Standards

One of the functions of the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner is to ensure that all police bodies in Scotland have efficient and effective procedures for complaints handling and that they are subject to continuous improvement and modernisation.  The Commissioner and PIRC staff team work with a range of key stakeholders to achieve this and conduct all PIRC reviews in line with the PIRC audit policy to ensure that standards are maintained.

Within this page you will find information and updates on the Quality & Standards work carried out by the Commissioner and PIRC staff to continually drive up complaint handling standards.


One way that the PIRC works to ensure all police bodies in Scotland have efficient and effective procedures for complaints handling is by carrying out audits. Some recent audits are listed below:

Visit the archive of all PCCS and PIRC audits, as well as other documents related to Quality and Standards, here

From sanctions to solutions - Statutory Guidance

The statutory guidance on complaint handling was originally issued in 2011. It sets out minimum standards for the way that police forces should respond to complaints from the public, without being prescriptive. Read From sanctions to solutions.

In April 2013 the statutory guidance was updated in light of changes made to the definition of a complaint about the police within the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012. Other changes relate to sections of the guidance that required clarification, or as a result of complaint audits undertaken by the Commissioner. Read the update here.

Police Complaints: Statistics for Scotland

Each year, the PIRC produces a report providing data on complaints made by members of the public about the police in Scotland. Read the latest Police Complaints: Statistics for Scotland

You can also find individual force reports and all supplementary tables on the Police Complaints: Statistics for Scotland page.