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Festive Hours: Please note that our office will be closed from 5 pm on Friday 21st December 2018 until 9 am on Wednesday 2nd January inclusive. During this period you can still send queries or applications by email to contact@scoaf.org.uk, and we will get back to you when we reopen in the New Year. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Improving our communication with you

The Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman (OSCO) is a learning organisation. That means that as we grow and develop, we strive to improve the way we do things. This applies to all areas of our work – including how we tell people who we are and what we do. In my last blog for May, I will be sharing with you what we have done and will be doing over the coming year to improve our communication with you.

For many people, my role can be confusing.  After all, I am not the Ombudsman for the whole of the Armed Forces – just for one part of it. Because that part is Service complaints, there are people who only see the first part of my title and think I am the Ombudsman for any complaint a member of the public might have about the service they have received from a company.

Even if people understand that I am only the Ombudsman for Service complaints, I can’t deal with every matter that relates to a Service complaint. There are also time restrictions on when people can come to me. All of this can get quite confusing.

But it doesn’t matter how confusing our name may be or how many different powers I have and what stage of the process they can be used. Our job is to make sure that we communicate what, when and how we do our work as clearly as possible.

In 2018 we are refreshing all of our communications to ensure that we are meeting this objective.

Last month we launched our new website.  Not only does the new website give us greater control of what and how we communicate with you – it is interactive. For the first time we have a “How can we help you?” tool. This interactive tool allows people to navigate through our processes by responding to simple yes and no questions. By answering a few questions, people can find out if they can come to the Ombudsman and be directed to the right application form to fill in.Later this year we will have an application portal added to the website.  This will allow people to apply online without having to download and complete a PDF form.  (Of course, we will still keep that option open for everyone who doesn’t want to use the online portal!)

We are also currently:

  • rewriting our factsheets
  • redesigning our posters and leaflets
  • creating new communications products, including video content
  • analysing our social media reach
  • providing input on different training provided by the single Services about Service complaints and our office

The work we do on our communications is a continual process. We take your feedback seriously and strive to make improvements. The ultimate goal is to tell you who we are and what we do the best way we can.

Note: we are currently seeking feedback to help us design our new application portal.  If you want to be part of the process, please fill in our survey. The survey is anonymous and you can’t be identified by the answers you give.