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IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you have submitted an electronic application form to our contact mailbox since we changed contact details in May 2019.  Please check your application was sent to the new email address: contact@scoaf.org.uk.

Service complaints

Report on Inappropriate Behaviours – what does it mean for the Service complaints system?

On Monday 15th July, the Ministry of Defence published their Report on Inappropriate Behaviours. The report, written by Air Marshal Wigston which makes 36 recommendations, is an important step in improving the culture in defence and one that I wholeheartedly welcome.

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Demystifying the role of the Assisting Officer

The importance of the Assisting Officer (AO) in the Service complaints process shouldn’t be underestimated. An AO is a key person for all involved: complainants, respondents and complaints handlers. In this blog, we will look at three important aspects concerning the role of an AO and provide you with some top tips! Appointment of the […]

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assisting officer

4 tips for improving communication in the complaints process

Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is one of the most important skills someone can have. In order for the complaints process to work as effectively as possible, it is important that both the complainant and the complaint handler are communicating clearly. But although it is an important skill, it isn’t an easy one. In this blog, we look at 4 simple tips that can help improve communication.

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Information v Advice: What’s the difference?

When we ask people how we can improve our service, they often say by providing advice. However, this is something that we cannot do – we can only provide information. Read on to find out why…….   If you look at the list of things we do at the office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman, […]

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The importance of educating personnel on the Service complaints process

In my first Annual Report as Service Complaints Ombudsman, one of the recommendations I made concerned the importance of training and education on the Service complaints system at all levels. It was a recommendation that I made after receiving feedback from a number of personnel who felt there wasn’t enough training on this issue. While work on this recommendation is still continuing, I wanted to let you know more about what we have been doing and why I think education in this area is so important.

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Just and equitable – what does it actually mean?

There are time limits for making a Service complaint and also for making an application to my office. These time limits are set in law.  Complaints that are made outside of those time limits can still be accepted if it considered “just and equitable”. But what does that actually mean?

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Unfair treatment for having made a Service complaint?

Last month we asked our Twitter followers what issues they thought I should be blogging about.  The responses all centered on the same theme – what happens if there are repercussions for making a Service complaint? This is a longstanding area of concern for myself and many members of the Armed Forces and their loved […]

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Reserves Day

Today is Reserves Day – an annual day that aims to showcase the important contribution Reservists make to the UK Armed Forces.  Therefore it is only fitting that my blog this month looks at Reserve Forces and why they are a particular area of focus for my office this year. Each year, in addition to […]

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Reserves day 2017

April 2017 – Annual Report

Yesterday the first Annual Report detailing the work of my office was laid in Parliament. Instead of providing a summary of the report in my blog this week, I have decided to look at the importance of my reporting function. Generally when the work of my office is discussed it is about the day to […]

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