Our policies

Service standards

Unhappy with our service?

We aim to provide publishers, editors and members of the public with a consistently good service. However if you are unhappy with the service you have received, you should tell us as soon as possible. This will help us to address your concerns, learn from our mistakes and to improve our service in the future.

A service complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the level of service we have provided, for example if we have:

  • Treated you rudely
  • Failed to communicate with you in the agreed manner
  • Failed to keep you updated on progress
  • Failed to explain our process properly
  • Caused unnecessary delays, or
  • Failed to follow our process

Disagreement with the views of an IMPRESS staff member on the scope of our scheme, the merits of a complaint against a publisher or eligibility for access to arbitration is not a service complaint.

If you are unhappy with the level of service you have received, please contact the individual you have dealt with first and they will refer your complaint to a senior manager who will contact you directly with a response. You must do this within three months after the concern first arose or closure of the relevant case, whichever is later.

Your complaint will be acknowledged within 3 working days. The manager will look into your concern and respond to you within 20 working days, following receipt of your complaint. If the manager is unable to do this, he or she will let you know why and when you can expect a response.

Usually things can be sorted out straight away at this stage. However, if you remain dissatisfied you may ask for the matter to be looked into further.

If you are still unhappy and provided we have concluded any ongoing complaint about a publisher or an arbitration, you can ask for your service complaint to be reviewed by our external, independent Service Complaint Reviewer. Please set out in what way you feel that the service provided to you has fallen short of proper standards. You can do this by emailing us at complaints@impressreg.org.uk

The Reviewer is an independent consultant, not an employee or Board member of IMPRESS.

The Reviewer’s terms of reference are set out at the link below and explain when the Reviewer can look at a complaint. These terms of reference may be changed by the IMPRESS Board from time to time.

We will acknowledge receipt of your request within 5 working days and the Reviewer will look into your concern and respond within 20 working days following receipt of your complaint. If they are unable to do this, they will let you know why and when you can expect a response.

Click here to read more about the Service Complaint Reviewer.

Privacy Statement
IMPRESS is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. This means that we are responsible for how and why your personal information is used.

We are committed to respecting your privacy and to complying with the Data Protection Act and any other relevant privacy laws. We have provided this Privacy Policy to help you understand how we collect, use and protect your personal information. As per the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation, we will ask for your explicit consent to use your data when you submit your complaint to us.

Click here to see our Privacy Statement.

Reasonable adjustments
IMPRESS is committed in taking reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people who use our service are not disadvantaged. This policy demonstrates our commitment to improving accessibility for everybody we deal with. It sets out some of the basic principles of our duty to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled people and sets out the factors we will take into account when dealing with requests for reasonable adjustments.

Click here to see our Reasonable Adjustment Policy

Unreasonable actions
Our service is independent, impartial and free. We believe that those who use our services have a right to be heard, understood and respected. We work hard to be open and accessible. Occasionally, the behaviour or actions of individuals using our service makes it very difficult for us to handle the service they are seeking.

In a small number of cases the actions become unacceptable because they involve abuse of our staff or our process. When this happens, we have to take action to protect our staff. We consider the impact of the behaviour on our ability to do our work and provide a service to others.

Click here to see our Unreasonable Actions Policy

Frivolous and vexatious complaints
We may refuse to deal with a dispute if it is frivolous or vexatious. This decision is at our sole discretion.

Click here to read our Vexatious and Frivolous Complaints policy.