Complaints procedure

How to complain about the service you get from the office of the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA).

We will treat all parties we deal with, with courtesy and as helpfully as possible. However, if you believe that things have gone wrong, please tell us. We take all complaints seriously and will ensure that every complaint is dealt with fairly and impartially.

What we can help with

This procedure covers complaints about:

  • the behaviour or conduct of the Adjudicator or any member of the PCA team

It does not cover:

  • complaints about or appeals against the outcome of a PCA function, such as advice given; an arbitration award; the launch, conduct or outcome of an investigation; the application of an enforcement measure or the content of published guidance (this is dealt with through the courts)
  • complaints about the scope of the PCA’s responsibilities as set out in the Pubs Code etc. Regulations 2016 (the Code) and the Act

Other types of enquiry

Find out how to contact the PCA office if you have a general enquiry.

Find out how to make a referral.

How to complain

Stage 1: complain to the team member concerned

If you state that you are unhappy with any aspect of a PCA team member’s conduct, then that team member will attempt to resolve the matter directly with you.

Stage 2: complain to the Head of Policy and Operations

If you are not satisfied after stage 1 contact the Head of Policy and Operations in writing at:

Office of the Pubs Code Adjudicator
Lower Ground Floor
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham
B2 4AJ

Or office@pca.gsi.gov.uk

Where a complaint is made about the Head of Policy and Operations please contact the Pubs Code Adjudicator at the same address.

Please include the following information:

  • your name and address
  • the nature of the complaint
  • details of the member(s) of staff involved
  • copies of any correspondence relevant to the complaint
  • information about what you believe has gone wrong

Reviewing the complaint

The Head of Policy and Operations (or in their absence their nominated deputy) will acknowledge complaints in writing within 5 working days. They will give their understanding of the complaint and an indication of when you should expect to receive a substantive reply.

The Head of Policy and Operations will review the complaint and then notify you, detailing:

  • the outcome of the review (whether the complaint has been upheld or not)
  • the reasoning behind the decision
  • where appropriate, what the PCA will do to put things right
  • the steps to take if you are not satisfied with the outcome

Stage 3: complain to the Pubs Code Adjudicator

If you are not satisfied after stage 2 you should write directly to the Pubs Code Adjudicator at:

Office of the Pubs Code Adjudicator
Lower Ground Floor
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham
B2 4AJ

Or office@pca.gsi.gov.uk

The Pubs Code Adjudicator will then conduct their own review of the complaint.

The Pubs Code Adjudicator will issue a final outcome letter detailing:

  • the outcome of their review (whether they have changed the stage 2 outcome)
  • the reasoning behind the decision
  • where appropriate, what the PCA will do to put things right
  • the final stage of the complaints process

The PCA office team is small and therefore there may be cases where there is no-one impartial to conduct stage 3 of the process. In these cases, you will be directed to the final stage.

Final stage: review by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

The letter from the Pubs Code Adjudicator will explain how to complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman’s role is to investigate complaints that individuals have been treated unfairly or received poor service from government departments and other public organisations.

Only an MP can make a complaint to the Ombudsman. You can identify your MP online or at your local library or Citizens Advice.

Contact details for the Ombudsman are:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP

Tel: 0345 015 4033

Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk