Peer Review Guidance
Peer Reviews are a continuous improvement tool. They are a mechanism that allows case
handling to be analysed with objective scrutiny. It must be stressed that Peer Review is not
used to seek out or apportion blame; it is a supporting tool. Peer Review is an internal tool
and should not be shared outside of the organisation and normal business should not
stop pending the outcome of a Peer Review.
A Peer Review can determine whether local and national standards have been followed or
need to be revised/improved:
At the local level, have the key stages of the Customer Journey been followed?
At the national level, have improvements and/or revisions to the Customer Journey
Considering When to Request a Peer Review
Where suicide is associated with DWP activity, a Peer Review must be undertaken. A
Peer Review is mandatory, irrespective of whether a complaint has been made or
suicide is formally confirmed. This is to ensure that any DWP action or involvement
was appropriate, procedurally correct and to enable service improvement.
Peer Reviews might also be considered in the following circumstances (the list is not
Customers with additional needs/Vulnerable Customers
Our handling of customers with additional needs is a topic under intense
Departmental scrutiny. Peer Reviews are an ideal medium to review complaints made
by customers that are identified as being in this category, as potentially they are most
at risk. The possible impact of an adverse decision or negative information given to
this type of customer needs to be considered in a wider scope to minimise the
potential of further escalation by the customer
Complex issues cases will especially benefit from a Peer Review. The evidence used
to come to a decision can be examined to ensure that all the issues raised by the
customer have been fully addressed.
Persistent or Vexatious Customers
Customers that have been categorised as unusually persistent or vexatious may
also benefit from the Peer Review process. It allows for another opportunity
for a review and to quality assure our communications. In some instances, an
underlying error has been overlooked that has exacerbated the customer’s
A Peer Review can be referred by any
level (Site, District, OSN or Unit) across any arm of
the business. The relevant OSN Chair will detemine the appropriateness of Peer Review for
cases that are not suicide related.