Following a review of the BBC's governance processes in July 2011, Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, stated that the complaints process should be "faster, simpler and easier to understand".
The review identified ways of improving the complaints system including:
- Ensuring that the BBC has an appropriate way to listen to the views of its audiences and consider their feedback
- Apologising quickly when appropriate and responding to the issues raised
- Improving the coordination of complaints handling activity across the BBC
- Improving standards of openness and transparency in complaints handling, making clear where complainants should go to complain about BBC broadcast content or services (including in what circumstances complainants may complain to Ofcom), and demonstrating clearly how issues raised have been addressed
- Streamlining the appeals process, ensuring the test the Trust will apply to assess appeals is clearer to complainants.
The BBC Trust then held a public consultation in March 2012 on changes proposed to the Complaints Framework and associated procedures to meet these requirements. The results of this consultation and associated audience research are summarised in the review document and then set out in more detail later in the supporting documents.