Phone line: We are currently operating a voicemail call back service on our contact telephone number 0300 369 0689. All messages received are collected by our Enquiries Team, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am until 16:30 pm. Please leave a voicemail, with your name, phone number, email address (if possible), and enquiryWe aim to respond to all messages within 2 working days. Any messages received to our voicemail on Friday afternoon will be retrieved on Monday, after the weekend. 

Application for review of an Admissibility Decision

What is an admissibility decision? It is a decision to exclude a complaint from the Service complaints system before investigation.

The Ombudsman has the power to review these decisions and make a final decision about whether the complaint should be accepted into the system.

When can I ask the Ombudsman to review an admissibility decision? You have 4 weeks and 2 days from the date your decision was posted or emailed to ask the Ombudsman to review it.

·         If you made a complaint and it was not accepted for investigation, you can ask the Ombudsman to review this decision.

·         If your complaint was investigated but your request for an appeal was not accepted, you can ask the Ombudsman to review the decision not to accept the appeal.

If you don’t make your application to the Ombudsman within 4 weeks and 2 days, you need to provide reasons for this and your application might not be accepted.

When can’t the Ombudsman review an admissibility decision
If the incident you want to make a Service complaint about happened before 1 January 2008 and your complaint was not submitted before 31 December 2015, the Ombudsman has no legal power to look at the matter.

This is because a Service person can only make a Service Complaint if the matter they are complaining about occurred when they were subject to Service law.  Service law commenced on 1 January 2008. Prior to this, Service personnel were subject to the laws of their individual Services (Army Act 1955, Navy Discipline Act 1957 and the Air Force Act 1955.)  For incidents that occurred before 1 January 2008, personnel had until the 31 December 2015 to make a complaint and it is not possible to make a Service complaint now. It may be possible to raise your historical complaint in another way.

The clock is not stopped until a complete application is received. A complete application means you have provided all information requested on the application form, including consent, additional documents required and answered any additional questions asked by the Referrals and Enquiries Team.

Any decision made by the Ombudsman on a review is binding on all parties.

If your application is not accepted, you will receive a decision letter that explains why it was not accepted. For more information on the Ombudsman’s powers read What the Ombudsman can and can’t do

To complete the application form, you will need to open it in Adobe before filling it in. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to save the form. 

Application for Review of Admissibility Decision (372 KB)


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. SCOAF staff are working remotely so we have no access to our post. This means there will be a delay in processing incoming post so please continue to send applications and documents to us electronically by email to our contact mailbox: contact@scoaf.org.uk or the investigator handling your complaint.

Please note that if you are sending your application by email the system cannot accept emails larger than 20MB. Emails that exceed the size limit will be blocked by our email system.

Timeframes for processing your application

2 days Once we receive your application you will receive an acknowledgement within 2 working days.
10 days The initial assessment of your application will take up to 10 working days.
17 days Once your application has been allocated to an investigator, we aim to provide you with a final decision within 17 working days.

 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 reviewing the decision.