The Service Complaints Commissioner for the Armed Forces helps ensure Servicemen and Servicewomen are treated fairly throughout their Service life. She does this by independently monitoring the system which handles complaints from serving personnel to their chain of command.
The Commissioner is independent of Government and her role is to:
- help Armed Forces personnel access their Service complaints system by referring their complaints to the chain of command;
- oversee how the system is working;
- report on the system to the Secretary of State for Defence, via her Annual Report.
Reforms to the complaints system - and a new Ombudsman
The Service complaints system is set to change in early 2016. At the same time, the Service Complaints Commissioner will become an Ombudsman, with greater powers to oversee and investigate Service complaints. Read our factsheet to find out more about the creation of an Ombudsman.
Please note that Service complaints need to be made within three months of the incident being complained about. You need to have very good reasons for making a complaint outside this time frame. If you want to make a Service complaint about something that is happening now, don't wait until the new system is in place — you may find that your complaint is out of time and won’t be accepted for investigation.
Service Complaints Commissioner
for the Armed Forces
About the Service Complaints Commissioner
Nicola Williams is the second Service Complaints Commissioner. She was previously the Complaints Commissioner for the Cayman Islands. The first Service Complaints Commissioner was Dr Susan Atkins, who stepped down after a second extended term in December 2014.