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01/07/2021 – Our general enquiries telephone number changed to 0300 369 0689. All calls to our old number are diverted for a limited period. For more information read our latest update.

Scheduled maintenance: We will be performing scheduled maintenance to our IT infrastructure on Friday 17th September 2021 at 13:00 pm until Tuesday 21st September 2021. During this period, it may impact on our ability to receive emails. Please bear with us.

Business plan

Strategic Objectives 2021 - 2022

Our mission

To provide independent oversight and investigations in support of an effective, efficient and fair Service complaints process for members of the UK Armed Forces.

Our vision

That all Service personnel have access to and confidence in a Service complaints system that is efficient, effective and fair.

Our values

  • Independence
  • Impartiality
  • Integrity

Improve organisational performance to ensure SCOAF operates in a way that is efficient, effective and fair.

SCOAF should be able to hold themselves to the same standards used in appraising the performance of the Services. By improving the way we operate, SCOAF will be able to provide a better experience for those accessing our service, to the Services, and to our own staff.

  • Performance
    Improved operational performance will result in the elimination of the backlog, and an improvement in the timeliness KPI. Reducing wait times for our service will result in an improvement in customer satisfaction, and will free up operational resources for focus on other areas of work.
  • Quality
    Ensuring the consistency and quality of the decisions made by SCOAF improves the experience for service users, as well as the Single Service secretariats. It ensures that the right decision is reached in every case, and that the reasoning for our decisions is clearly understood by all parties. Elimination of silo working means that lessons learned are shared more effectively across the organisation, and can be fed into learning and outreach for the Services.
  • People
    Our people are our most valuable asset. By focusing on staff engagement and development, we will improve retention and ensure that our people are empowered to provide the best service possible.
  • Infrastructure & Governance
    SCOAF needs to be able to operate efficiently, ensuring the appropriate levels of assurance being given to MOD. This will be demonstrated in the improvement of internal operating and reporting protocols, and the establishment of clear protocols with MOD. This priority also addresses the need to move away from reliance on paper files, and ensure IT services are fit for purpose.

Increase confidence in the service complaints system by sharing knowledge and insight, and driving awareness and visibility of the Ombudsman.

SCOAF must go further to share the trends, learning and insight in order that improvement to the Service Complaints system as a whole can be made, along with ensuring that Service personnel are aware of SCOAF and the services provided.

  • Awareness
    SCOAF must ensure that Service personnel are aware of the Service Complaints process, and the ombudsman’s role within this. Further work must be done to understand the reasons why individuals may not feel comfortable accessing the Service Complaints system.
  • Learning
    Sharing the trends, insights and learning gained through investigation of Service Complaints will allow for improvements to be made by the Secretariats in their handling of matters. The Ombudsman has a responsibility to share best practice in complaints handling, and provide practical tips and guidance to the Services.
  • Accessibility
    Ensuring that our service is accessible, by making sure our material is easy to understand, and service users understand what they can expect from our investigations. Ensuring our language and approaches take into account all relevant aspects of EDI, and reflect best practice for the sector.

Identify and drive forward systemic change through [continued] engagement with wider stakeholders.

SCOAF must ensure it is correctly positioned to be able to drive systemic change through focused engagement. By ensuring our voice is heard in the right places, we will be in a better position to improve the system.

  • Collaboration
    Ensuring that recommendations are understood and readily accepted, for the benefit of the system as a whole. Ensuring continued engagement with MOD and HCDC, along with each of the Services.
  • Building Networks
    Reaching out to a wider range of stakeholders, to ensure that all perspectives on the Service Complaint system are heard and understood.