Find out what you can complain about
Ready to complain? Make your complaint online here
An outline of how the broadcasting standards complaints process works
How to know which broadcasting standard applies
Guidance on types of complaints that are least likely to be upheld
What action can the BSA take after it determines a complaint?
Frequently asked questions
A formal complaint must:
- be in writing
- relate to a specific broadcast
- be made within the required timeframe (usually within 20 working days of the broadcast)
- include enough details to reasonably enable identification of the broadcast, eg:
- date of the broadcast
- time of the broadcast (if known, or if not known, a reasonable estimate of the period in which it was broadcast plus as much detail as possible about surrounding broadcast content or any other information to help locate the content)
- title of the programme
- channel or station which broadcast the programme
- be an allegation that particular broadcasting standards have been breached.
Complaints not meeting these requirements do not fall within the BSA complaints process and broadcasters may treat them as feedback only.
If you’re complaining to the broadcaster, you need to make your complaint within 20 working days of the broadcast.
If you’re referring your complaint to the BSA, you must do so within 20 working days of receiving the broadcaster’s decision, or if the broadcaster didn’t respond, within 60 working days of the original broadcast.
For complaints about programmes that have not yet aired, see Can I complain about a programme that hasn’t aired yet?
Complaints referred to the BSA will generally be decided within three months. However, timeframes vary depending on complexity, input required from the parties and whether the BSA considers it across two or more meetings. BSA staff will keep you informed of progress.
The complaints process is free of charge.