Film competition: ‘What’s the point of complaining?’

Short Film Competition

We’re launching a film competition in partnership with the Association of Colleges. The competition is open to students at colleges that are members of the Association.

The best short film which addresses the question: ‘What’s the point of complaining?’ will win a prize of £400.

Competition details

In 2016 we carried out a survey to find out what people think about complaining. 

We found that 90% of people believe you should complain if you are not happy with a service. But just over one third (36%) of those who are unhappy with a public service actually do make a complaint.

Your film will help raise awareness among young people about the Ombudsman service and the importance of complaining when things go wrong. 

Guidelines to help create your film

Films will be judged on creativity and content. You are free to interpret the question as you see fit. 

You can submit any type of film you like such as animation, documentary or live action. There are no restrictions on genres. Your film:

  • should be no more than 45 seconds long
  • can be shot on a mobile phone
  • can be specifically about the role of the Ombudsman or about the value of complaining in general. 

Some suggestions for issues you may want to cover include: 

  • explaining what an Ombudsman is to a friend or family member
  • explaining the power of complaining and how it can improve public services 
  • your own experience or that of a friend or family member who complained about the NHS or another public service 
  • a series of short ‘vox pop’ interviews with members of the public.

For inspiration and to learn more about our work feel free to browse our website, in particular:


The films will be judged by a joint Ombudsman and Association of Colleges panel.

A cash prize of £400 will be awarded to the best entry and your college will also be recognised. Commendations will also be given to other stand-out films. 

The winner will be offered the opportunity to visit the Ombudsman to see first-hand how a complaint handling organisation works. 

The winning film and commended submissions may be used on our website, social media channels, at events and for training purposes. 

All participants will be notified by email of the outcome by the end of May 2018. 

How to submit your entry

Entries should be submitted by 5pm, 15 April 2018

Please upload the film to YouTube and send the link to along with a completed entry form (PDF 102KB).  

Please read the terms and conditions (PDF 102KB) before submitting your entry. 

Further information 

For more information about Ombudsmen, including why they exist and what their role is, visit the Ombudsman Association website.

If you have any queries or concerns please email

In partnership with the Association of Colleges

Association of Colleges