MacKay Hannah

Achieving customer service excellence - now and in the future


Jim Martin

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Jim Martin was Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland from the office’s inception in 2007 until he became Scottish Public Services Ombudsman on 1 May 2009.  He was also the Scottish non-executive chairman of Logica and ran a management consultancy.  Jim was General Secretary for the Educational Institute of Scotland from 1987 until 1995 and served as a member of the Scottish Funding Council.

Jo Causon

Chief Executive, Institute of Customer Service

Jo joined the Institute from the Chartered Management Institute, where she had been director of marketing and corporate affairs since July 2005. She previously held director roles in brand and business consulting and prior to that was both head of group marketing and strategic executive to the director-general at City & Guilds. Jo also has over eleven years experience in the financial services sector.

Under Jo's leadership the Institute has worked in partnership with its members and other stakeholders in realising the increased return on investment that excellent customer service can deliver and the role it can play as a motivator for those working within an organisation, enabling those organisations to keep their talent as well as their customers.
She also believes that by working to develop customer service excellence organisations will not only survive the current challenging economic conditions but will also prosper and help to lift the UK out of recession earlier than would otherwise have been the case.


Pauline Howie

Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service

Pauline Howie began her career with CSL Group in London, working mainly with the Health and Local Government Sectors. Having qualified as an accountant in 1990, winning the Richard Emmott Memorial Prize for Best Performance in the Case Study Paper, she returned to Scotland and joined the NHS in Glasgow as Project Accountant with the Glasgow Royal Infirmary Unit. She joined the South Glasgow Unit in 1992 as Deputy Director of Finance and helped in its NHS Trust formation. In 1996 she was seconded to the Scottish Executive Health Department as Head of Trust Finance, and later that year joined the State Hospitals Board for Scotland as Finance and Planning Director.

Pauline joined the Scottish Ambulance Service as Finance Director in March 2000, also taking responsibility for Information and Communications Technology, Fleet Services, Procurement, Planning and Performance management and Risk Management. In 2006 she took on the role of Chief Operating Officer, becoming Acting Chief Executive in May 2008 and was appointed Chief Executive in September 2009. She is passionate about developing the Service further to deliver person centered, world class services, as set out in its Strategy, "Working Together for Better Patient Care".

Peter Farrer

Chief Operating Officer, Scottish Water

Peter joined the Water Industry in Scotland 26 years ago after graduating from Heriot Watt University as a Civil Engineer.

He worked on design and construction of water treatment works and pipelines, to improve water quality to customers and became a Chartered Civil Engineer in 1990.

Peter then moved into various operational General Management roles, delivering front line services to customers in the Central belt of Scotland, and gained an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School in 2001.

He spent 4 years as General Manager, Corporate and Asset Planning, accountable for Capital Maintenance Planning and delivering Scottish Water’s Regulatory Targets before being appointed to his current role on the Board of Scottish Water.

Prior to being appointed Chief Operating Officer, Peter’s role was that of Customer Service Delivery Director, accountable for Operational Service Delivery across Scotland and Customer Contact and Complaint Resolution.

Picture of Colin Shingler

Colin Shingler

HMRC Complaints Policy & Strategy Team, Central Customer & Strategy Directorate

Alex Hill

Chief Government Advisor Scotland and Northern Ireland, Met Office (video presentation)

Alex is a native Glaswegian who, after Strathclyde University, joined the Met Office in the early 1970s.

He has held a variety of posts working amongst others as a forecaster at RAF Leuchars, Glasgow Weather Centre, Senior Forecaster London Weather Centre, and Senior Forecaster for the ITV National Weather. Alex then became Head of London weather Centre where he lead a team of forecasters responsible for severe weather and road forecasts in the southeast of England, rail forecasts for the UK as well as overall monitoring of UK National TV and radio output.

After London Weather Centre he moved on to manage the Met Office defence network in the south of England and the Mediterranean.

Alex moved back to Scotland in 2008 and is currently the Met Office Chief Advisor to Government for Scotland & Northern Ireland.

Mairi-Anne Macdonald

Director of Sector Development, Scottish Social Services Council

I am a registered social worker and worked in local government for over 20 years before moving to work for the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) in 2012.  I worked as a social worker and senior practitioner in Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils in Children & Families Teams and the Out of Hours service before moving to Aberdeen City Council to establish a fostering service as an alternative to secure care.  I moved to Fraserburgh where I worked for Aberdeenshire Council managing a Children & Families Team, and leading on the local implementation of Getting It Right For Every Child, and then moved back to work for Aberdeen City Council as a strategic manager responsible for multi-agency child protection.

My current role with SSSC covers a range of activity.  I am the Registrar for the Social Services Register in Scotland.  This is a qualifications based register and is open to social workers and social service workers in function specific roles.  The primary functions of the Register are to ensure minimum knowledge and skill requirements are met by the workforce, and to protect the public through scrutiny of fitness to practise through the registration and renewal process.  My department is responsible for the register; for the approval and quality assurance of the training and education of social workers in Scotland; the development of the National Occupational Standards and qualifications for social service workers in Scotland; and for the national workforce development activity for the social service sector, which is currently focused on the Integration of Health and Social Care, Self-Directed Support and developing Leadership Pathways for social service workers.

The social service sector in Scotland comprises around 200,000 staff, and is increasing.  These staff are employed by local authorities, private providers and third sector organisations. 

I have had an ongoing interest in innovation and workforce development throughout my career, and led on various projects in relation to improving multi-agency practice.  I have always promoted the involvement and engagement of people who use services in planning their support, and the experience of people using services figured strongly in my career development.  I am leading on the national development of an asset based approach to workforce development for all public service organisations.  I am interested in developing new technology approaches to learning which make learning accessible to everyone, and in promoting the use of informal learning as a significant building block in professional development.

Craig McGill

Author, Social Media MD and Digital Creative Guy at Contently Managed

Craig McGill is MD of Contently Managed, one of Scotland's longest running Social Media and Social Business companies with a strong focus on ROI.

Coming from a background of university lecturing, PR, marketing and journalism, the author of four non-fiction books has worked with some of the country's best known brands including Tesco, Lloyds TSB, BrewDog, Whyte & Mackay, BoConcept, Shaf Rasul, Turcan Connell, The international Parlex Legal Group and Rangers Football Club.

He can be found on Twitter @craigmcgill and don't tell anyone but, being a typical healthy Glaswegian, he only accepted the invite to speak at this event so he could sneak along to the newly-opened Krispy Kreme store!


Gillian Thompson OBE

Conference Chair

Deep experience in delivering the policies of the Scottish Government including development of devolved and reserved policies, leading legislative and organisational change, project and programme management, corporate and financial accountability, influencing and negotiation.  Full working knowledge and experience of Scottish political scene. Well regarded reputation for delivering organisational strategy and expertise in working at Board level as chair and member.

Current Activities:

The Judicial Complaints Reviewer
Trustee, Stepchange Debt Charity Scotland
Non Executive Director of Registry Trust Ltd, a London based UK not for profit company providing services for the Ministry of Justice
Scottish Ambassador, Tomorrow’s People, a UK charity which sources work placements for 16-24s from deprived areas
Active interest in shared services in central government public bodies.
Independent Assessor Public Appointments (Justice)
Conference Chairing
Independent assessor during the recent review by the Audit and Risk Management Committee of Scottish Natural Heritage.
Previously: Deputy Chair of English Speaking Union Scotland

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This was a very well delivered seminar with plenty of opportunity for comments. The quality of the content across all sessions was excellent.

Pauline McWalter, Enable (Elgin and District Branch),
Delegate at Educational Attainment and Children's Rights Seminar

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