Complaints policy & procedure

At the ICO, we welcome all feedback and when we get things wrong, we want to know about it so we can put them right.

At the ICO, we are committed to providing a high quality, transparent, accessible and friendly service. We are a registered charity with a well-established set of ethics and values underpinning our approach and aim to promote and maintain positive relationships with everyone we deal with.

We welcome all feedback and when we get things wrong, want to know about it so we can put them right.

We listen to all complaints, treat them seriously, respond promptly and appropriately, and use them to improve our service.

Most issues can be quickly and easily dealt with through informal discussions with the people involved. However, if for any reason this isn’t suitable, we have a structured process for handling complaints.

What is a complaint?

We handle any expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for a response as a complaint.

This policy covers complaints about the standard of service you should expect from us, the behaviour of our staff in delivering that service, and any action (or lack of action) by our staff or others engaged on behalf of the ICO.

Please note that: 

  • We aim to handle all complaints seriously, quickly and effectively.
  • You will be treated with respect and fairness at all times.
  • We will treat your complaint confidentially (including within the ICO) in accordance with UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), tailored by the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days and you can expect a full reply within 20 working days. If your complaint can’t be quickly resolved, we will explain why this is, confirm when we expect to be able to reply in full and keep you informed of our progress.

How to make a complaint

You can submit a complaint by email to

By letter to:

Independent Cinema Office (ICO)
Unit 9 Bickels Yard
151-153 Bermondsey Street
London SE1 3HA

Or by telephone to: 0207 636 7120

Please give us as much clarity and detail as possible, including providing any relevant documents and correspondence, and by clearly stating that you are making a complaint.

If you wish to submit a complaint anonymously, see ‘Anonymous feedback‘, below.

ICO staff seeking to make a complaint should refer to the ICO staff handbook.

Our complaints procedure

Stage 1

On receipt of your complaint, we will ask a senior manager to review it and respond to you. We expect the majority of complaints to be resolved at this stage.

Stage 2

If you are dissatisfied with the response received at Stage 1, you may request a review, which will be carried out by the ICO’s Director. Your request together with all subsequent correspondence relating to it should be sent by letter to the ICO for the attention of Catharine Des Forges, Director.

If, after receiving the Director’s response, you remain dissatisfied, you can ask to have your complaint reviewed by the ICO’s Board of Trustees. You have a maximum of 28 days from the date of the ICO’s final response to do so. Your request together with all subsequent correspondence relating to it should be sent by letter to the ICO for the attention of Dorothy Wilson, Chair of Trustees.


When we get things wrong, we will:

  • Accept responsibility and apologise
  • Explain what went wrong and why
  • Put things right by making any changes required, including to policies and practices where appropriate.

Our response will take into account what redress people seek when they complain.

Recording complaints

Complaint details, outcomes and actions taken may be recorded by us and used to improve our service. In doing so we will handle your information sensitively and in line with GDPR.

Anonymous feedback

If you wish to submit a complaint or feedback anonymously and confidentially, you can do so using this online form.

Please note that this means we will be aware of your concerns and will take them on board, but will not be able to respond to you directly.

Anything else?

We are also interested in ideas you may have on how we might do things better, or feedback on when we do things well. Submit your comments to individual ICO staff or to They will be passed on to the relevant team(s) and used to help improve our service.

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