Complaints Procedure

We take all complaints seriously as they provide us with opportunities to improve and maintain the high standards we strive to achieve. We recognise that we sometimes get things wrong. Your feedback will help us resolve mistakes faster and learn how we can do things better to improve quality and service user satisfaction.

Our Complaints Procedure is available to those who use SeafarerHelp services including those affected by our promotional materials.

SeafarerHelp will respect your confidentiality and keep your complaint confidential. Any information about the complaint will usually only be shared with those who need to know in order to help resolve it.

We will endeavour to resolve your complaints as promptly as possible.

How to raise a complaint

SeafarerHelp is operated by the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), a registered charity in England and Wales.

If you have a complaint about the service that you have received from our team or if you have been affected by any promotional materials, you should contact the ISWAN Executive Director and clearly state that you are making a complaint. You will need to explain exactly what your complaint is and what you would like to be done to resolve it. Contact can be made by email direct to the ISWAN Executive Director at

The Executive Director will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and investigate it. The Executive Director will provide an initial response within 10 working days of receiving it.

Within 20 working days from the date the Executive Director acknowledges receipt of your complaint, you will receive either: a) a full response which adequately addresses the complaint; or b) an explanation why the Executive Director is not yet in a position to resolve the complaint and an indication of when you will receive a full response.

We expect to be able to resolve most complaints within 20 working days from the date we have acknowledged receipt. However, in exceptional circumstances, e.g. when we need to conduct a more in-depth investigation or when we have to rely on information provided by others who are overseas, we may not be able to meet that deadline.


If you feel that the response the Executive Director makes to your complaint has not adequately addressed the issues you raised, you can appeal to the ISWAN Chair of Trustees using the email Appeals must be made within 28 working days of the response from the Executive Director to your complaint.

The Chair of Trustees will acknowledge receipt of the appeal and will seek to provide an initial response within 10 working days of receiving it.

The Chair of Trustees will aim to resolve the appeal within 30 working days of acknowledging receipt of it.

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