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.

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.

What is a referral? A referral is a letter from SCOAF that says you want to make a Service complaint. This will usually be sent to your chain of command or former chain of command if you are no longer serving

Please note: A referral is not a formal Service complaint and does not “stop the clock” on the time limits for making a Service complaint. If SCOAF makes a referral, it does not indicate that your complaint will be accepted for investigation as a formal Service complaint.

Who can ask for a referral? Only current or former Service personnel can ask the Ombudsman to refer their intention to make a Service complaint.
Can the Ombudsman investigate my complaint? The Ombudsman cannot investigate your complaint herself – it must go through the internal Service complaints process. Once a referral has been made the Ombudsman 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

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


How to submit your form
  1. Double-check that you have completed all sections, signed and dated the form
  2. Save the form to your desktop or device
  3. Send your completed form by email to contact@scoaf.org.uk or post to SCOAF, PO Box 72252, London SW1P 9ZZ

If you have any difficulty completing the form, contact our Enquiries and Referrals Team on 0207 877 3450 for assistance.

Timeframes for processing your application
2 days Once we receive your application you will receive an acknowledgement within 2 working days.
7 days Once your application has been processed a referral made to the relevant Service within 7 working days from the date of your acknowledgement.

Please note: 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