Complaints Procedure

Advice for clients

In the unlikely event that you are dissatisfied with the professional standards of one of our Members or Associates, AGRA has a formal complaints procedure that you can use. Please note that a disputed contract between a researcher and his/her client is not within AGRA's remit. If your complaint involves a disputed contract, a Trading Standards Department, solicitor, Citizens' Advice Bureau or Law Centre should be consulted.

Examples of the type of complaint that can be dealt with by AGRA include:

  • unreasonable delay in processing a client's research
  • excessive charging
  • breach of a client's confidence
  • failure to adhere to the requisite professional standards and methods
  • unprofessional conduct

However, there are some steps that you should take before making a formal complaint:

  1. First, contact your researcher in writing and clearly set out the reasons for your dissatisfaction. If the disputed work has been completed (or is considered to be completed by your researcher), you should raise the matter as quickly as possible with your researcher (usually not longer than three months).
  2. If, after six weeks, the situation has not be rectified to your satisfaction, please let your researcher know, in writing, that you will be making a formal complaint to AGRA. You should receive an acknowledgement from your researcher, including a full copy of the Complaints Procedure document.
  3. Only if the issue is still unresolved after following steps 1 and 2 should you send a letter detailing the situation to the AGRA Secretary at or by post to Box A, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA. It is important that you enclose copies of all the relevant material.

The Association will use its best endeavours to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties through conciliation and arbitration but it cannot ensure financial redress if a complaint is upheld.

All costs must be defrayed by the parties concerned.

All parties must observe strict rules of confidentiality. No responsibility can be taken by AGRA for accidental disclosure or for disclosure by the complainant.

If the matter is ultimately referred to AGRA, we will try to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible but this will depend upon the complexity of the case, ease of communication etc. The Secretary will keep you advised of progress.

Box A, 14 Charterhouse Buildings
Goswell Road
London EC1M 7BA