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Festive Period: Our office will be closed from Thursday 23rd December 2021 at 5 pm until Tuesday 4th January 2022 at 9 am (inclusive). You will still be able to submit enquiries and applications during this period to our contact mailbox: contact@scoaf.org.uk. But, they won’t be actioned until we re-open in the New Year.

Phone line: We are currently operating a voicemail call back service on our contact telephone number 0300 369 0689. All messages received are collected by our Enquiries Team, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am until 16:30 pm. Please leave a voicemail, with your name, phone number, email address (if possible), and enquiryWe aim to respond to all messages within 2 working days. Any messages received to our voicemail on Friday afternoon will be retrieved on Monday, after the weekend. 

Our structure and staff

SCOAF has funding for 25 members of staff, including the Ombudsman. SCOAF  also uses four Fee Earner Investigators on a case by case basis.

For information on the team structure download the Organisation chart (56 KB) .

The Business Team

The role of the Business Team is responsible for managing the Ombudsman’s diary and external engagements, production of the annual report, finance, accommodation and IT.

The Business Team consists of 8 members of staff: the Ombudsman’s Executive Assistant, Policy Manager, Statistics Manager, Communications Officer, Business Manager; and Administration Support. The team is overseen by the Head of Office.

The Operations Teams

The role of the Operations Team is to make referrals and conduct investigations on behalf of the Ombudsman. This is done under delegated authority i.e. the Ombudsman gives staff the power to carry out these specific functions.

Referrals

The Enquiries and Referrals Team is the frontline of our office. They are the first point of contact for anyone:

  • making an application to the Ombudsman, or
  • seeking information about the Ombudsman’s powers and processes.

They can provide information about the Service complaints process, but not advice about whether a person should make a Service complaint. The decision to make a complaint can only be made by the individual.

The team ensure that every individual contacting our office is treated with the utmost care and concern. They often deal with very sensitive issues but they are not a crisis or welfare service.

The Enquiries and Referrals Officers also make all referrals under delegated authority from the Ombudsman. For more information on the referrals read Types of Applications.

Our office isn’t staffed 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. It is open Mon – Fri 9.00 am – 5.00 pm. Please allow up to 2 working days to receive a response to your enquiry.

To contact the team:

Phone 0300 369 0689
Email contact@scoaf.org.uk
Write Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman, PO Box 72252, London SW1P 9ZZ

Investigations

The Investigations Team consists of 10 experienced investigators and Head of Investigations. The team is overseen by the Chief of Operations.

The role of the Investigations Team is to discharge the Ombudsman’s investigations function. This is done by conducting independent and impartial investigations and producing decision reports.

The team carry out all stages of the investigations process under delegated authority from the Ombudsman. This includes decisions to accept a matter for investigation, conducting investigations, making findings and recommendations, and, preparing, disclosing and signing investigation reports. For more information on the investigations read Types of Applications.

As an impartial Ombudsman service, it is essential that people can trust the independence of our investigations. All our investigations hold professional qualifications in Ombudsman and Complaint Handling through Queen Margaret University.