Office Notice 01/01/2021: Due to a delay in the recruitment process, the new Ombudsman is not currently in post. We remain open and able to accept enquiries and applications however there may be a delay in processing them. Staff will be able to provide further information but please submit any applications as soon as possible as the legal time limits for making an application still apply.
Please note that SCOAF staff are still working remotely. If you need to contact us, please phone and leave a voicemail, or send an email to our contact mailbox, and our Enquiries Team will contact you back within 2 working days.
Strategic Objectives 2016-2020
To provide independent oversight and investigations in support of an effective Service complaints process for members of the UK Armed Forces.
That all Service personnel have access to and confidence in a Service complaints system that is efficient, effective and fair.
Provide an independent, transparent and accountable Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman
- Monitor, scrutinise and report on the operation of the Service complaints system to Parliament;
- Collect, process, analyse and disseminate statistics in line with professional best practice;
- Be transparent in our operation and ensure we deliver value for money;
- Improve our service by making it easier for Service personnel to access the office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman;
- Deal with enquiries and referrals efficiently, minimising delay and meeting timeliness targets.
Deliver timely, comprehensive investigations for applicants, exercising our legislative powers in a transparent, efficient manner to ensure guardianship of the Service complaints process by the Ombudsman
- Undertake thorough investigations in line with our commitment to independence, impartiality and integrity;
- Establish, develop and adhere to policies and processes, in line with legislation;
- Deliver specific, clear and consistent recommendations;
- Deliver on our commitment to complete investigations within timeliness targets;
- Engage with legal challenges to our findings and report on outcomes.
Provide information, education and outreach with the Armed Forces and wider stakeholders to promote the Service complaints system.
- Actively seek to develop effective and enduring working relationships with stakeholders;
- Take a proactive role in the international Ombudsman community;
- Develop tools to educate users on how the Ombudsman can help them;
- Proactively promote the Ombudsman role and wider Service complaints process;
- Adopt innovative approaches to implement and develop a digital presence for the office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman.
Be a learning organisation and develop the capabilities (knowledge, skills and behaviours) required to achieve our priorities now and in the future.
- Monitor recommendations trends and themes to shape improvements to the complaints process;
- Work with the Services and the Ministry of Defence to see what lessons are implemented swiftly and efficiently;
- Review and develop our processes, making required changes to ensure that the new system succeeds;
- Proactively build our capability to ensure that the Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman is able to deliver its objectives;
- Continue to invest in our people and provide opportunities to meet appropriate professional standards.