How we deal with your complaint

First look at your complaint

We will first acknowledge we have received your complaint. If we need any more information at this stage we will contact you.

If you’ve shown us you have complained formally to the organisation involved, our Assessment Team will then decide whether we can or should look at your complaint in more detail. We will write to you to explain the outcome.

For more information about our assessment process, see our Assessment Code. However you do not need to read this to make a complaint.


Investigating your complaint

If we decide your complaint needs more detailed work, we will pass it to our Investigation Team and tell you who will deal with your complaint.

We may then ask you and the organisation you’re complaining about for more information. We will keep you updated on the progress with your complaint.

When we think we have enough information to make a fair decision, we will share a draft decision with you. We will usually send you copies of the information the organisation gives us, but sometimes they will provide sensitive information that we cannot pass onto you.

We will give you a chance to comment or give us any further information you want us to consider before we make a final decision.

When we make a final decision we will write to you and explain the reasons. We will send a copy of the decision to the organisation you complained about.

Our decisions are final but we have procedures for Challenging our decisions and Complaints about our service.


How long does it take?

Most complaints are decided in 26 weeks. However some complicated cases can take longer for us to gather enough information to make a fair decision.


Publishing our decisions

We publish most decisions on our website three months after the date of the decision. Go to Possible outcomes for more information.