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 regarding your application for a grant or innovation loan
  • 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

Complaints Officer
Innovate UK
Polaris House
North Star Avenue

Swindon
SN2 1FL

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, a person in your organisation at an equivalent high level will need to be involved too, if not already.

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.

About our decisions for grant or innovation loan applications

Grant funding

Innovate UK runs several grant funding competitions every year. We follow a standard process for assessment and feedback on applications:

  • we ask a panel of independent experts to review all applications. The names of these experts are confidential to allow them to freely express their views
  • these experts create a ranked list and recommend the applications that should receive funding
  • we use this list to choose successful applications against the funding available and competition scope
  • we notify applicants if they are successful or unsuccessful. Successful applicants will move to project setup. For unsuccessful applicants, we will offer feedback to explain 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
  • for successful applicants that start a project with us, we may choose to use a single assessor to make recommendations on decisions about continuation funding

Innovation loans

We are running a pilot programme of loan competitions, offering innovation loans to SMEs working on late-stage projects. These will be delivered through Innovate UK Loans Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Innovate UK. The complaints process remains the same.

This is how proposals are selected to progress to further credit evaluation:

  • we ask a panel of independent experts to review Part A of all eligible applications. They will assess the innovation quality of the application and that it is within the scope of the loan competition as set out by Innovate UK. The names of these experts are confidential to allow them to freely express their views
  • both Part A and Part B of the application will be reviewed by our credit team. They will consider if the applicant organisation is potentially suitable for an innovation loan
  • if the application is deemed to pass the innovation quality threshold and the business is judged to be potentially suitable for a loan, the application is subject to a further credit evaluation
  • applicants will be notified if they reach the full credit evaluation stage or if they have been unsuccessful:
    • for successful applicants, during the further credit evaluation the credit team will work with you to evidence the information and discuss the structure, suitability and affordability of a loan
    • for unsuccessful applicants, we will offer feedback to explain 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 credit team will present a recommendation to the Innovate UK Loans Limited credit committee on how to proceed, at which point the applicant will be notified
  • if you start a project with us, we may choose to use a single assessor to make recommendations on decisions about continuation funding