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by Tom Freeman
24 November 2014
No complaints on QMU's new degree

No complaints on QMU's new degree

The world’s first postgraduate degree for professional complaint handlers has been launched by Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University (QMU).
The new MSc Dispute Resolution has been developed in association with and accredited by the Ombudsman Association. The aim is to provide the skills for professionals to deal with disputes in the public sector or between consumers and business.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Jim Martin reported an 11.5 per cent rise in health complaints this year, while last week, energy regulator Ofgem launched a formal investigation into Scottish Power’s customer service and complaint handling.
It is thought the public sector will be a big employer of graduates, with the UK Government now spending £1.5bn a year on dealing with complaints, according to the university. It is also hoped professionals might be attracted to the course to develop their existing careers. The qualification aims to raise the professionalism of those dealing with complaints to the level of other professionals such as lawyers or accountants.
Chris Gill, MSc Dispute Resolution course leader at Queen Margaret University’s Consumer Insight Centre, said: “We feel it’s now the right time to speed up effort to develop professionalism in the complaints sector. Ultimately, good complaint handling provides better public services and fair consumer markets.  It’s a crucial activity, which affects the everyday lives of consumers and citizens.”
Through its existing courses, the QMU’s Consumer Insight Centre has provided accredited training for over 1,000 ombudsman colleagues and CPD training for 700 regulatory staff during the last three years. The first students of the new postgraduate degree will start in January.
QMU is the first academic institution to be licensed and approved to deliver Ombudsman Association case handler training courses.

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