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Policy Information

Customer Charter Initiative & Guidelines

Published: 1 March 2019
From: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

The Customer Charter initiative was launched in December 2002. A Customer Charter is a short statement describing the level of service a customer can expect from a government department or office. Under the initiative, each government department and office is required to produce a Customer Charter and to report on performance against the service standards it sets out. The Customer Action Plan and Charter should outline the arrangements which have been put in place to mainstream Quality Customer Service within the organisation through the Strategy Statement, Business Planning, Performance Management Development System and other strategic processes. Charters should be easily accessible to all customers, and should be displayed prominently in all public offices.

Customer Charters are based around a continuous four-step cycle of:

1. Consultation with customers/stakeholders

2. Commitment to service standards

3. Evaluation of performance

4. Reporting on results

In December 2018 we published a revised and updated version of our 2012 Guidelines for the Preparation of Customer Action Plans and Charters, to give public sector organisations a practical guide to producing these pivotal customer service documents. Customer Action Plans and Charters: Guidelines for Preparation has been developed to incorporate best practice that has been identified over the lifetime of the Customer Charter Initiative, and to reflect both commitments in the public service reform plan (Our Public Service 2020), and developments in customer service delivery. Consideration should also be given to the Guiding Principles of Quality Customer Service.