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An outline of how the broadcasting standards complaints process works
Find out what you can complain about
How to know which broadcasting standard applies
What action can the BSA take after it determines a complaint?
Frequently asked questions
The BSA can only consider ‘formal complaints’ about programmes. These must:
- be in writing
- relate to a programme that has been broadcast (and identify the date, time and channel)
- identify the broadcasting standard(s) you consider have been breached
- be made within the required timeframe (usually 20 working days since broadcast).
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.