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The Service Complaints Ombudsman’s office will be closed from Monday 23rd December 2019 at 5 pm until Thursday 2nd January 2020 at 9 am (inclusive). You can still submit enquiries and/or applications to our contact mailbox during this period. However, they won’t be actioned until the office reopens on Thursday 2nd January 2020.

Service complaints

Whistleblowing v Service Complaints: What’s the difference?

Whistleblowing is a word that is sometimes used interchangeably with the word complaint – but the act of whistleblowing and making a complaint are two separate things.

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What can’t I make a Service Complaint about?

The Service Complaints system is a workplace grievance system for members of the UK Armed Forces. In broad terms, if a Service person has been wronged in their Service life, while they were subject to Service law, they can make a Service complaint. But there are limits to what can be the subject of a […]

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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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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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