This page provides guidance to our consumers about the complaints process; how and when to proceed.

Threshold test

Every complaint we receive is reviewed by the UK-SBA’s Complaints Secretary. The Complaints Secretary will check whether the complaint, if proved, would mean that the member failed to meet our Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct.  They will also evaluate if the complaint is one that falls under our remit for investigation.  Please see Complaint Considerations.

We may ask for further information from the person making the complaint and the member. This may include a preliminary response from the member. The Secretary will explore at this stage whether any early resolution of the complaint is possible, by acting as an independent, neutral intermediary between parties. If necessary, the consumer member of the board can talk at this point with the complainant as an independent.

If the complaint passes the threshold test, we'll inform the complainant and the member.

If the complaint doesn’t pass the threshold test, we'll tell the complainant and the member and close the complaint.

How will you support me through my complaint?

We can offer support throughout your complaint, including:

  • The Complaints Secretary or another board member can give you help and information about what to include in a complaint.
  • If you need help in writing a complaint, please contact us on [email protected]. We may be able to give support or signpost you to a service that can help.
  • The person looking after your complaint can talk you through the process and what it involves. They can answer any questions about how we are dealing with your complaint and let you know about its progress.
Accommodating diversity

We’ll consider requests for reasonable adjustments to help you take part in a hearing.  For instance, if a consumer has English as a second language or a learning or other disability, our Complaints Secretary will endeavour to make all reasonable adjustments to accommodate such needs. These might include enabling a complaint to be made verbally via a voice recording, or seeking the services of a pro bono translator. We may also offer a “complaint companion” from the Advisory Board to “walk through” the process with the complainant.

If your complaint progresses to a panel hearing and you can’t find someone to accompany you, we’ll try to find someone to support you from our Advisory Board.  If you need more support, please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk about it.