Complaints Policy and Procedure

1. Introduction

At Turner Contemporary, visitor and community engagement are at the heart of what we do, and we welcome and encourage feedback of all kinds. We aim to maintain high standards in all that we do but recognise that we can sometimes get things wrong, despite our best intentions.

It is our policy to deal sensitively with and resolve concerns as quickly as possible.  We undertake to acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and, wherever possible, to complete our investigations and resolve the matter within one month.

We want to resolve matters to your satisfaction, but we also want to learn from it, in order to improve our audience and community interaction in the future. We promise to consider all concerns very thoroughly, to respect your privacy, and to resolve any complaints to the best of our ability and as quickly as possible. We commit to being fair and impartial when investigating any issues that you raise and to use what we learn to help improve our visitor experience.

We would not be able to do so or learn for the future if we were not made aware when things go wrong. Therefore, we value and take seriously any feedback we receive, and are committed to ensuring that your concerns are addressed to your satisfaction, and that you look forward to your next visit.

Generally, wherever possible we aim to resolve disputes informally without resorting to formal investigation or legal proceedings.  We will try to explore every reasonable option to resolve complaints with the express aim to agree an outcome which is satisfactory to you and to Turner Contemporary.

Whatever the nature of your concern, our reply to you will describe the action we have taken to investigate your complaint, conclusions we have reached as a result of our investigation, and any action we have taken or are taking as a result of your complaint.

We will ensure that all information received and produced in connection with a complaint is treated as confidential and handled sensitively; that only those who need to know have access to that information; and, that we act at all times within the remit of the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act, as well as our own Data Protection Policy.

All complaint information is reported to our Chair and Trustees at quarterly Board meetings.


2. Raising a Complaint

A ‘complaint’ in this Procedure means any expression of dissatisfaction in relation to your interaction with Turner Contemporary which requires a response.

Some examples might be:

  • A member of staff is rude or discourteous toward you or someone else in your presence.
  • You are given the wrong information.
  • You receive a poor-quality service.
  • You feel that we have treated you unfairly.
  • Something else happens or you become concerned about an issue which negatively affects your relationship or interaction with Turner Contemporary.

Complaints received by Turner Contemporary will be treated seriously and will be thoroughly and objectively investigated in a timely manner.


3. What cannot be raised as a complaint under this policy?

The following will not be dealt with under this Complaints Policy:

  • An information request (under FOI or not).
  • Appeals of a business decision.
  • An attempt to reopen a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision. Such requests will be dealt with as routine business issues, and you should contact the relevant business department.


4. Where complaints may come from:

Complaints may come from visitors, workshop participants, artists, outside contractors, customers, suppliers, donors, supporters, members of the local community or any person or organisation with a legitimate interest in the work of Turner Contemporary.


5. Complaints which are not covered by this Policy:

This Policy is not for complaints or grievances from staff (including agency staff and freelancers) and Trustees. These complaints should be raised and will be dealt with under Turner Contemporary’s Internal Grievance Procedure.


6. Policy Purpose and Intent

We are keen to ensure that all complaints are dealt with in a satisfactory way and are resolved as quickly as possible. Often an issue can be resolved quickly and easily by contacting the person with whom you have been dealing. You can do this in person, by telephone, email, or letter.

We understand that sometimes you may prefer to share your complaint on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram or platforms such as Tripadvisor and TikTok.  If you choose to do this, we will acknowledge your complaint on the social platform where it has been raised, however, from then on, the complaint will be dealt with in person, telephone, email, or letter, as we feel that dialoguing on public platforms can have the potential to compromise privacy issues. This approach helps comply with our Privacy Policy and with UK GDPR and data protection legislation.

Whilst complainants are generally entitled to receive responses to a complaint and to challenge any responses received, Turner Contemporary will not deal with complaints or challenges where, in the reasonable opinion of the Director or Chair, they amount to persistent, habitual, or vexatious complaints or challenges.

We aim to ensure that any complaint is dealt with quickly and the complainant treated with respect. We will not tolerate aggressive, abusive, or unreasonable behaviour or demands.


7. Complaints Procedure Stage 1 – Ways to make a complaint

7.1. Tell us at the time

Tell us what you think during your visit. Looking after our visitors is our top priority, so staff are keen to receive feedback in person. We are always open to suggestions, and it is really helpful to hear what our visitors think.

Whilst visiting the gallery, do not hesitate to approach any staff member if you have a question, comment, or complaint. We will try and resolve your issue then and there, and if we can’t resolve the matter immediately, we’ll make a formal note of your concerns, and a Visitor Services or other manager will then investigate and follow up with you via telephone or email with 15 days. All visitor feedback is also included and discussed (respecting confidentiality of personal details) in daily debrief sessions within our visitor services and events teams.


7.2. Submit your complaint or provide feedback in writing

If you prefer, you may submit your feedback or concern in writing by email or post.

To help us investigate and address any complaint, we ask you to include as much information as possible. Your complaint details should include:

  • The reason for or nature of your complaint
  • Where and when what you are complaining about happened
  • The name(s) of anyone involved (if known)
  • What outcome you are hoping for (but we are not obliged to resolve the complaint in that way)
  • Your contact details (name, address, daytime telephone number and/or email address)

Emails should be sent to:

Letters should be sent to:

Administration Manager
Turner Contemporary
The Rendezvous


7.3. Dealing with your complaint

Once you have submitted your complaint it will be acknowledged within 7 days, and then investigated and reported on as follows:

Nature of complaint Investigator
Customer Service (Retail/Café) Head of Finance, Business & Operations
Event Experience Head of Finance, Business & Operations
General visitor experience Head of Visitor Engagement and Experience
Individual members of staff Relevant Head of Department
Issues surrounding Programming Head of Exhibitions
Director Chair of the Board of Trustees
Any Trustee Chair of the Board of Trustees
Chair of the Board of Trustees Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees

Your complaint should receive a definitive reply within 28 days. If this is not possible because, for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report will be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.


8. Stage 2 – If you are not satisfied with our response.

If, for any reason, you are not happy with the resolution of your complaint under the First Stage procedure outlined above, you can bring this to our attention as follows.

Please send a letter to:

Director, Clarrie Wallis
Turner Contemporary
The Rendezvous

Or an email to:

Director, Clarrie Wallis

Please set out the nature of your original complaint, explaining why you were not satisfied with our response and what you would like us to do to put things right. Please also attach copies of all previous correspondence relating to your complaint.

The Director will send an acknowledgment within 7 days and arrange to investigate your complaint and aim to respond with a definitive reply within a further 28 days. If the investigation requires more time, a progress report will be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.


9. Stage 3 – Taking your complaint further

In the event you remain dissatisfied, within 28 days of receiving the definitive reply we sent to you under the Second Stage, you may write by letter or email to the Director (or in the case of a complaint about the Director to the Chair of Trustees) who may, in appropriate cases, agree to refer your complaint to the Trustees under Stage Three. The decision as to whether to escalate your complaint is final.

In the event that your complaint is escalated to Stage 3, you can expect this to take up to 8 weeks from the date on which we receive your letter or email request to implement this stage. If for any reason the panel requires more time, a progress report will be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given. The decision of the Trustees is final.


10. Following up

We may wish to contact you within 8 weeks of your complaint being settled, in order to check that you were satisfied with our responses. Any information you give will only be used to make improvements to Turner Contemporary visitor experience.


11.  Taking your complaint outside of Turner Contemporary

11.1. The Fundraising Regulator

Turner Contemporary is registered with the Fundraising Regulator, which sets and maintains the standards for charitable fundraising. This independent body investigates complaints about charitable fundraising where these cannot be resolved by organisations themselves. It also investigates situations that have caused, or have the potential to cause, significant public harm.

As an organisation registered with the Regulator, we are committed to fundraising in a way that is legal, open, honest and respectful in line with the Code of Fundraising Practice. Before you make a complaint to the Fundraising Regulator, we ask that you let us know about your concerns using the procedure described above (see Section 7). This gives us a chance to respond to the complaint and this is often the quickest way to reach a resolution. It also helps us to improve our practices.

If, after following our procedure, you are not satisfied with the response, you can make a complaint to the Fundraising Regulator.


11.2. The Charity Commission

If your complaint is about any other aspect of our charitable work other than our fundraising work or activities, you may wish to contact the Charity Commission. However, we suggest that before you do so you consider whether it is appropriate to contact the Commission in the first instance rather than ourselves. The Commission has guidance on its website as to when to direct complaints to an organisation and when to approach the Commission in the first instance. Their contact details are:

Charity Commission Direct, PO Box 1227, Liverpool, L69 3UG

Tel: 0845 300 0218


The Charity Commission guidance to the public states that:

  • you believe there is criminal activity within a charity, you should inform the police.
  • If you suspect fraud connected to a charity, you should report it using the Action Fraud Online Reporting Service at or call 0300 123 2040.
  • If you have information about possible terrorist activity connected to a charity, you should report it to the Anti-terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.


11.3. The Data Commissioner

If a complaint relates to your personal data, it may be appropriate to contact the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Make a complaint | ICO