Background to complaints data

In 2010, following an agreement with DfT, we took responsibility for collecting the complaints data directly from the train operating companies (TOCs).

Some of the benefits of the change in process were:

  • We received the data on a more frequent basis so were able to carry out more quality assurance on the data.
  • We were able to identify any data quality issues earlier in the process and liaise directly with TOCs to clarify these rather than contact them through DfT.
  • We provided TOCs with guidelines on how complaints data should be collected and processed, ensuring any methodological inconsistencies between TOCs were addressed.
  • We were aware of any delays in the data supply chain and could contact TOCs directly to ensure data would be delivered and there would be no delay to the publication of the National Rail Trends (NRT) official statistics.

In addition, as part of this transfer, we agreed to be responsible for undertaking a project with the aim of improving the quality of complaints statistics we publish. We are actively working with the TOCs to achieve this through focus groups with the data producers and visits to TOCs to get a better understanding of their systems and processes.