Festive Hours: Please note that our office will be closed from 5 pm on Friday 21st December 2018 until 9 am on Wednesday 2nd January inclusive. During this period you can still send queries or applications by email to contact@scoaf.org.uk, and we will get back to you when we reopen in the New Year. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Application for Referral

If you want to make a Service complaint and don’t want to approach your chain of command directly, you can ask the Ombudsman to refer your intention to make a Service complaint. This referral will usually be made to your chain of command or former chain of command if you are no longer serving.

We are in the process of updating our application forms. Before you submit your application please make sure that you read our privacy policy.

Application for referral (722 KB)

The PDF form has highlighted fillable form fields. Please use these fields to enter your information and not the ‘insert comment’ tool.


How to submit your form

  • You can submit your application form by post or email
  • Double check that you have completed all sections, signed and dated the form
  • Save the form to your desktop or device
  • Send your completed form by email to contact@servicecomplaintsombudsman.gsi.gov.uk or post to Service Complaints Ombudsman, PO Box 72252, London SW1P 9ZZ
  • If you have any difficulty completing the form, contact our Enquires and Referrals Team on 0207 877 3450 who will be able to assist you

Timeframes for processing your application

Once your application for referral is received you will receive an acknowledgement within 2 working days. Your application will be processed and a referral made to the relevant Service within 7 working days from the date of your acknowledgement.

Please note that:

  • Only current or former Service personnel can ask the Ombudsman to refer their intention to make a Service complaint
  • A referral from the Ombudsman is not a Service complaint and will not “stop the clock” on the time limits for making a Service complaint
  • It is important that we can contact you once you have submitted an application.  If we can’t contact you we may be unable to process your application or there may be delays in making a referral
  • A referral does not indicate that your complaint will be accepted for investigation as a formal Service complaint
  • The Ombudsman cannot investigate your complaint herself – it must go through the internal process – and she will not be involved in the handling of your complaint
  • Further information about the Service complaints process can be found in JSP 831: Redress of Individual Grievances