Complaints Procedure

Primary tabs

Complaints procedure for British Council Services for International Education Marketing

1. Introduction

British Council’s Services for International Education Marketing (SIEM) are a group of paid services provided to UK education institutions by the organisation’s network of overseas offices. The services include: tailored consultancy advice, direct marketing, education intelligence, exhibitions and face to face briefings. Their main purpose is to support the international marketing strategies of UK education institutions in overseas markets.  Institutions that meet the relevant entry criteria can register to access these services, either via the relevant SIEM manager in a given country, or via the team of UK-based account managers.

2. Complaints procedure

A formal complaint can be made in the event of a commissioned service not being delivered to the agreed standards. At the first stage, a formal written complaint should be made to the British Council staff member in-country who has led on the commissioning and delivery of the service. In the case of Education Intelligence (EI) services, the formal complaint should be made the EI team manager in Hong Kong, who is responsible for global service delivery at

If the complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily within 28 days from receipt of formal written notification, the complaint should be forwarded to the Investigator for SIEM, Dame Sandra Burslem.  Please contact the SIEM Account Management team for her contact details. 

3. Role of the Investigator

3.1 Upon receipt of the complaint, the Investigator will make initial enquiries of both the complainant and the relevant British Council staff member to establish whether the complaint may be considered.  

3.2 When this has been confirmed, subject to confidentiality, she will investigate the complaint by: (a) interviewing both the complainant and the appropriate British Council staff member(s) responsible for service commissioning and delivery; and (b) reviewing relevant documentation.

3.3 Following her investigation, the Investigator may inter alia:
(a) reject the complaint;
(b) recommend a written apology and full or partial refund of payment made; or
(c) in exceptional circumstances, ask for relevant reports or documentation to be re-written to a satisfactory standard.
It should be noted that these examples are indicative, rather than prescriptive.

3.4 The findings of the Investigator will be normally be issued within 28 days of formal receipt of the second stage formal complaint. Her decision will be binding and there will be no further appeal.

3.5 The Investigator will report on a six monthly basis to the senior manager responsible for SIEM, the British Council’s Head of Education, to provide an update on complaints received and actions taken, together with appropriate recommendations for service adjustments.