The IB complaints procedure enables direct recipients of IB services to raise concerns with us. We value feedback to help us to improve the quality of our services.
The IB’s customer experience team is the first point of contact for support requests.
This procedure explains how to notify us about concerns related to IB services and how we will consider them.
Principles for how the IB handles complaints
The principles below guide how we handle complaint notifications.
- Availability: the complaints procedure is available on the IB website in the IB’s working languages.
- Consistency and fairness: the procedure ensures we consider concerns consistently and fairly.
- Courtesy: we treat the IB community with courtesy and a sense of shared mission. We will keep you advised about progress when we need time to investigate a concern.
- Effectiveness: we periodically review the complaints procedure to ensure it is effective.
- Sensitivity: we treat complaints and concerns with importance and sensitivity.
- Timeliness: we understand the importance of dealing with concerns quickly and will respond in accordance with the service standards explained below.
What the IB complaints procedure covers
This procedure explains:
- how community members who directly access IB services can raise complaints or concerns with us
- the action we will take in response.
To increase the likelihood of an effective response, we need to be notified within three months of the event that led to the complaint taking place.
The IB does not accredit or manage schools. Schools hold direct relationships with students and their parents or guardians.
The following section explains when we are unable to consider complaints or concerns under this procedure, either because:
- they fall within the formal responsibility of an IB World School or other organization, or
- the services are governed by separate procedures.
What the IB complaints procedure does not cover
1. Complaints about decisions made by IB World Schools
The IB delivers its programmes through relationships with independent IB World Schools.
IB World Schools are responsible to their governing bodies for decisions relating to the implementation of the programmes they are authorized to offer. We regularly evaluate schools to ensure they continue to meet IB requirements.
The IB is unable to consider or resolve complaints raised by students, parents or guardians, or school employees in relation to services or decisions made by IB World Schools acting within their areas of responsibility. This includes employment disputes between IB World Schools and their employees.
We ask schools to inform students and their parents and guardians about their internal complaints procedures.
When we are unable to consider concerns as complaints under this procedure, in situations where they relate to programme implementation decisions made by schools, we will advise the appropriate colleagues for information. When appropriate, matters may be raised with IB World Schools.
As far as possible, the IB will treat any information provided sensitively. However, in order to follow up on a concern, we may need to disclose information, including to the relevant IB World Schools, where appropriate.
The IB website includes information about how the IB handles concerns or feedback that we are unable to consider under the complaints procedure.
2. Requests for the re-marking of Diploma Programme, Career Programme or Middle Years Programme work; appeals against examination results or questions about other assessment decisions
The IB has separate procedures about requests for re-marking IB assessment material. These procedures are set out in the General Regulations applicable to IB programmes.
All requests for the re-marking of work, appeals against examination results or other assessment decisions must follow the procedures outlined in the assessment procedures available to IB World Schools. The relevant IB coordinator will be able to provide further information.
3. Decisions relating to candidacy or the authorization of IB World Schools.
4. Other matters the IB considers to be outside its mandate to investigate or is unable to make a determination upon.
Making a complaint
Before submitting a complaint, check the section above to confirm we will be able to consider it using this procedure.
If you are already in contact with us concerning a request, we encourage you to attempt to resolve matters informally before submitting a formal complaint under this procedure. This action will not prevent you from making a formal complaint at a later stage.
The IB uses a two-stage complaints process. The section below explains how to submit a complaint if it has not been possible to resolve your issue informally.
Stage one: Initial submission of a formal complaint
Send your complaint in writing via the form below in any of the IB working languages. To help ensure we capture all relevant information accurately, we are unable to accept complaints by telephone.
Please provide as much information as possible about your complaint and the departments or services involved.
You must supply us with the following information:
- your name, a contact address or e-mail address to allow the IB to contact you to respond to your complaint
- if you are a graduate or parent or guardian who used the IB's request for results service, the name and code of the IB World School attended
- if you are an IB educator, your personal code and your role(s)
- the service or department your complaint relates to
- details of your complaint, including any previous attempts to resolve the matter and copies of any relevant documentation.
We are unable to consider anonymous complaints or those not submitted following this process. We will advise you by e-mail if we consider your concern cannot be dealt with using this procedure.
The complaints team will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three business days and forward your concern complaint to the appropriate senior colleagues for investigation.
The complaints team may contact you by e-mail to request further information if required.
We aim to respond to you with the outcome of our investigation within 15 business days of receipt of the complaint. If we require additional time to investigate, we will notify you to provide a revised timeline for receiving a final response.
Stage two: Appealing the initial response
If your complaint falls within the scope of this procedure, and you remain dissatisfied with the response you receive, you can use the IB’s complaints appeal process. Your concern will be considered by a group of senior IB staff members not directly involved in the original decision.
You must make the appeal within fifteen business days of receipt of the stage one response.
Please provide full details of the reasons for your appeal and any relevant information, including all correspondence with the IB in relation to the complaint.
The subject line of your appeal request must be clearly identified as, ‘An appeal against the response received in relation to a complaint’, and submitted by e-mail.
You will not receive a response if you have not first submitted your complaint through this procedure and received a stage one response.
We will acknowledge an appeal request within three business days.
The complaints team will aim to communicate the outcome the of the appeal review teams final response within 30 business days of receiving an appeal request. If we require more time, the complaints team will contact you to provide a revised response target.