Complaints procedure

How to complain about Innovate UK’s service.

Your complaints, suggestions and compliments are important to us because they help us improve our services. This page describes what you should do if you want to make a formal complaint.

When to use this complaints procedure

Examples include:

  • when we have said we would do something and it has not happened
  • when the quality of our service was not as you expected, for example, when we took too long, lacked consistency or were unclear
  • when a member of our staff, or someone working on our behalf, acted in an inappropriate or discourteous way

You should not use this complaints procedure, if:

  • you want to give us general feedback
  • you want to compliment our services or our staff
  • you disagree with a scientific or technical decision we have made
  • the issue you want to complain about is the subject of legal proceedings

How to make a complaint

Step 1

The person who dealt with your enquiry, application or project can usually resolve your complaint. You should contact them first.

Step 2

If this person can’t resolve your complaint or if you are not happy with their response, you can contact us by letter or email:


Complaints Officer
Innovate UK
Polaris House
North Star Avenue


We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days. We will write to you about your complaint within 10 working days. If we can’t respond by this date, we will tell you why. We will also tell you when we will be able to reply.

Our complaints officer will be responsible for dealing with your complaint. They will work with a relevant senior member of staff to resolve it. They will:

  • agree all the issues and facts with you
  • collect relevant information
  • assess the validity of your complaint
  • let you know the outcome and, if relevant, any action taken

Step 3

If you are still unhappy with the outcome, you can ask us to refer your complaint to an Innovate UK director. If your complaint is about a specific section or department, we will appoint a director from a different team. If this isn’t possible then we will ask our chief executive to review your complaint.

At this stage, we will ask you to involve someone at a higher level in your organisation too.

Step 4

If you feel we have still not resolved your complaint, you can take it to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. This is the Parliamentary Ombudsman. You can get information on how to do this from the Ombudsman.

The records we keep

As a public body we have a duty to record and track any complaints we receive. We store information about complaints on our electronic data storage systems. Only staff dealing with complaints and our professional advisors have access to this information.

Technical decisions

Innovate UK runs several funding competitions each year. This is how we decide which proposals are successful:

  • we ask a panel of independent experts to review all applications
  • these experts create a ranked list and recommend which should receive funding
  • we use this list to choose successful applications depending on the funding available
  • we offer feedback to unsuccessful applicants explaining why we have not chosen them
  • we won’t reconsider applications after this point unless we receive a complaint about how we made the decision
  • the names of these experts are confidential to allow them to freely express their views
  • we sometimes use a single assessor to make recommendations on decisions about continuation funding