Policy statement

IWM is committed to setting and maintaining high standards of service and visitor experience across all of its branches. Anyone who expresses dissatisfaction with any aspect of their visit or the services which the museum has provided can expect to have their complaint addressed as quickly as possible.

We welcome constructive feedback of any sort. When dealing with feedback and complaints IWM will handle your communication:

  • Promptly.
  • With courtesy and respect.
  • In a fair and impartial manner.
  • Taking into account any reasonable requirements you may have. 


A complaint may be defined as an expression of dissatisfaction about any aspect of the museum’s service, offer or other operation, or regarding an action or perceived failure on the part of IWM. Informal complaints may be addressed to the museum verbally or in writing and it is expected that most of these will be resolved quickly and informally by means of an immediate reply or explanation. An informal complaint may relate to any aspect of our museums or our service that you feel we could improve upon.

Formal complaints must be made and responded to in writing. These will tend to relate to serious matters such as:

  • Health and safety.
  • Museum policy.
  • The behaviour of museum staff.
  • Unfair treatment.
  • Contravention of laws or regulations.

Formal complaints may also be made when someone having submitted an informal complaint remains dissatisfied with an initial response, or with any redress already offered.

Scope and purpose

The policy aims to ensure that complaints received by IWM are investigated, dealt with and responded to in accordance with the museum’s internal procedures.

It does not cover complaints or internal reviews relating to data protection or the Freedom of Information Act, for which there are separate policies and procedures. Nor does it cover general feedback received from visitors on various aspects of IWM’s operations. You can find out how to give feedback by visiting: IWM External Complaints Procedure.

This policy includes complaints under the Fundraising Regulator’s code.

Delivery and responsibilities

The Director-General will ensure that procedures are in place and publicised to ensure:

  • Complaints about the museum’s actions or omissions are acknowledged and properly investigated.
  • Complainants are kept informed about the progress of investigations and receive appropriate responses.

The Head of Governance is responsible for ensuring that formal complaints are investigated, and that any agreed recommendations resulting from these investigations are properly acted upon.

The Head of Fulfilment is responsible for monitoring informal complaints and general feedback, and use this to suggest improvements to level of service we offer.

All staff are responsible for implementing the policy and following relevant procedures.


The museum will operate a system through which complaints will be handled courteously, effectively, fairly and in a timely and informative manner. Complaints will receive a response, or holding reply, within ten days. IWM’s complaints procedures are appended to this policy.


The policy will be monitored via ad hoc checks through the CRM system as well as through the quarterly reporting process. Complaints reports will be used to assist the museum in understanding the views of its users, to identify trends and to improve services where possible. Lessons learned will be communicated to staff.

Raising a complaint

If you wish to raise an informal compliant, give feedback or submit a formal complaint, please visit IWM's complaints procedures page.


This policy is owned by the Director-General. It was agreed in December 2008.

Latest review: December 2021
Date of next review: December 2023