Home Office: Telephone Services

Home Office written question – answered on 21st September 2015.

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Photo of Lord Quirk Lord Quirk Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Home Office has target times by which members of the public can reasonably expect to get through on the telephone and speak to an official; by what percentage extent there has been a change over the past three years in the number of telephone calls from the public seeking information or assistance from the Home Office; and what training in communication skills is provided for the officials in that Department.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department

The largest volumes of calls in the Home Office are handled by HM Passport Office and UK Visas and Immigration. The Home Office does not publish centrally collated figures for call handling.

HM Passport Office calls are either handled directly through its commercial partner Teleperformance or at one of the in-house call centres in Liverpool and Southport. Both Teleperformance and the in-house call centres aim to answer 80% of calls in 30 seconds.

UK Visas and Immigration calls are handled either directly at the in-house call centres in Croydon and Sheffield, or through one of two commercial partners, HGS and Sitel. UKVI in-house Contact Centres aim to answer the majority of calls in three minutes.

All commercial partner and in-house staff undergo an assessed foundation training course; which includes modules around required knowledge, communication, effective questioning and call control.

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