Complaints Procedure

We are committed to providing a high quality, responsive and transparent service to all the people and organisations with which we interact.

Should you have a complaint we will endeavour to make the process of handling your complaint a positive one.

When to make a complaint

You should use this procedure if:

  • We have not followed agreed policies, procedures, or legal obligations
  • If you feel that one of our employees has been unhelpful or insensitive in their dealings with you
  • We have not responded or have taken an unreasonable amount of time to answer a query or request
  • You are dissatisfied with how we have handled a data protection request

Do not use this procedure if:

  • The issue you want to complain about is subject to litigation or legal proceedings
  • Your complaint has previously been through this procedure and has been closed

When you should use a different procedure:

  • If you are a member of staff, your concerns may be better managed via another Pirbright policy, for example, our grievance procedure
  • If you want to submit an anonymous complaint, you should read our Whistleblowing policy and follow the procedure laid out in that document

How to make a complaint

Step 1

You should make your initial complaint directly to the Pirbright employee you have been dealing with, for example, on an enquiry, application, or project.  The complaint should be made directly to our employee in writing, either by email or letter, and a copy sent to:

Governance Officer, The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey GU24 0NF


If they are not able to resolve your complaint, go to Step 2.

Step 2

You should then make your complaint to our Governance Officer. Your complaint should be made in writing, either by email or letter. Any complaints made via telephone will need to be followed up in writing so that they can be formally investigated.

In making a complaint, you should include:

  • Your reason for making a complaint, a clear description of your experience and what outcome you would be satisfied with
  • If relevant, the department of the Pirbright employee your complaint relates to, including a contact name if known
  • If this is your first complaint or if it relates to a previous case
  • Your contact details, including name, company (if appropriate), telephone number, email, and address

Send your complaint to:

Governance Officer, The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey GU24 0NF


How we will handle your complaint

We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days and aim to provide you with a full response within 20 working days.  If it is not possible to provide a full response within this time frame, we will inform you with:

  • Details of the progress we have made
  • A target date for when we are aiming to respond to your complaint
  • Contact details if you wish to get in touch with us

How to appeal

If you are not satisfied with our response, you have the right to appeal within six (6) months of the date we responded to your complaint.

You should write to us again following the same procedure outlined above.  You must mention that your appeal relates to a previous case.

We will assess your concerns to decide if there is a rationale to review these outstanding issues.  If we agree that there is reason to review the decision in this case, we will assign a senior, independent employee to conduct the review on your behalf.  This person will not have any prior knowledge or involvement in the previous complaint.

We will aim to respond to you using the same review timescales and processes as the standard complaints process above.

If you are still not satisfied with the decision, you can refer your complaint to the Company Secretary, who will determine the most appropriate person to review this matter.

Send your appeal to:

Company Secretary, The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey GU24 0NF


If your complaint relates to an information request, then you may want to refer this to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision until the complainant has completed Pirbright’s complaint procedure.


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® The Pirbright Institute 2024 | A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 559784. The Institute is also a registered charity.