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How can I make a comment or complaint to the British Council?

We value your opinion

We hope to make your experience of dealing with the British Council an excellent one and we welcome your comments, suggestions and details of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) about the service you have experienced when contacting us or using any of our products or services. We would also like to hear if a particular member of staff has provided you with exceptional service. 

What we will do

All customers are dealt with seriously and impartially and are responded to promptly – regardless of the subject matter, medium or the country in which the complaint has been made. We aim to acknowledge your comment or complaint within three days and will seek response to feedback or resolution of complaints within ten working days. We will draw on information received from your customer comments and complaints to improve our services and products.

What to do next: How to make a comment or complaint:

Contact your nearest British Council Customer Service office.

Who will deal with your comments or complaint?

We aim to resolve most issues at the first point of contact. The first member of staff who receives a communication from a customer is empowered to ‘own’ the comment or complaint and see it through to resolution, although he or she may have to liaise with other colleagues to gather the necessary information to respond effectively to the customer.

In more complex cases customers may receive the response to their comment or complaint from the person or department who is responsible for that aspect of our work. In the infrequent cases where a customer’s comment or complaint is of a serious nature, the complaint may be referred to the British Council’s Complaints Manager.

Taking it further

When things have gone wrong we will do our best to resolve matters quickly and fairly. We will:

  • explain what went wrong and why 
  • apologise when it is appropriate 
  • take action to remedy the situation, when possible.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can take the matter further by contacting the complaints manager in your local British Council office. Complaints that are not able to be resolved to our customers’ satisfaction can be escalated to the British Council’s Corporate Enquiries and Complaints Manager in the UK. We will provide you with details of how to do this when we respond to your complaint. If, following this, you remain dissatisfied then you may be able to refer your complaint to an external body for review. All customer comments and complaints are reviewed carefully, added to a wide range of internal and external measurements of our service performance and used to collate data of your perceptions and experiences. These are shared across the British Council network with a view to improving our products and services.

External review

Customers who are not satisfied with the response they receive can ask to have their case reviewed by an external body. The complaints manager will provide you with more information about the options available to you when he or she responds to your complaint. 

The independent review bodies will ensure fairness and impartiality in the investigation of your complaint. Once a customer proceeds to external review, that complaint can no longer be dealt with by the British Council, unless the review body requires it.