Making a complaint

We welcome your feedback about the way that we work. If you are happy with our service, please tell us.  It helps us to identify good practice and encourages our staff. If you are not happy with our service, please let us know. If you have spotted anything we could improve on, please let us have your suggestion.

We always try our best but sometimes we get it wrong or things don't go according to plan. When this happens your feedback helps us to put things right and learn from our mistakes.

We have formal procedures for handling complaints because it is important to us that complaints are resolved in a consistent, efficient and fair way.

How do I make a complaint / raise a query?

It's always best if you can let us know straight away as most complaints can be sorted out for you quickly. If it's not possible to let us know at the time you can contact us by email, in writing or by telephone when it's more convenient.

Most complaints will initially be investigated by the BSS Manager.

We will always acknowledge your complaint within five working days and do everything we can to resolve it within 15 working days of our acknowledgement. If, for some reason, this is not possible we will explain why and let you know when you can expect to receive a response.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint at the initial investigation stage then it will move forward through a procedure dependent upon the precise nature of the complaint.

As there are various types of complaint, the route that any one complaint can take may vary. To see a chart of the various routes the different types of compliant, query or appeal can take, click here

Once again we will attempt to resolve it within 15 working days but if for some reason, this is not possible we will explain why and let you know when you can expect to receive a response.

Waterways Ombudsman

The Boat Safety Scheme is administered by the Canal & River Trust and BSS Office staff are subject to the same standards as applied to Canal & River Trust staff members.

It might be that at the end of the process dealing with your complaint, you still feel we have not fully resolved your complaint. If this is the case then you can ask the Waterways Ombudsman to consider your complaint.

The Waterways Ombudsman is entirely impartial and independent and can consider complaints about injustice caused to you by maladministration or unfairness by the Trust or its subsidiaries, including the Boat Safety Scheme.

The Waterway Ombudsman website has more detail about this role and how to contact the Ombudsman directly.