ACF complaints

We hope that everyone who joins the ACF or comes into contact with us will have a positive experience. However, it is inevitable that on a few occasions, concerns may arise that require investigation.

As most ACF activities take place locally at our detachments many concerns can be dealt with quickly and courteously in an informal way by local Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs).

However, if you have a complaint or concern that requires a more formal investigation and response we ask that you follow the three stage process below.

How do I make a complaint?

In dealing with concerns and complaints we aim to provide a fair and open process.

Stage 1: If you wish to complain about a matter within a local detachment please talk to the detachment commander. He/she is in charge of ACF activities within the detachment and will listen to your complaint and do their best to answer your concerns.

Stage 2: If you feel you do not want to discuss the matter with the detachment commander, or if they cannot deal with your concerns, or if your query is more serious, then you should contact the Cadet Commandant or CEO at your ACF county HQ (the ACF has 57 regional ‘county’ HQs responsible for managing the detachments in their region).

The Commandant’s contact details are available from the detachment commander or you can find this information online*.

*Select the relevant county HQs from the list on the ACF website

If you are unsure which county HQ serves your local area:

Stage 3: If, after receiving a response to your complaint from the Cadet Commandant, you are concerned that it was not handled appropriately, or still consider that you have not had a satisfactory answer, you can forward your complaint to the Deputy Chief Executive of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) responsible for managing your ACF county HQ. 

There are 13 RFCAs in the UK - to find the relevant one see the list of RFCAs

What kind of complaints do you deal with?

We accept complaints from cadets and CFAVs about how they have been treated by the ACF and from parents or carers of cadets with concerns about how their child has been treated by members of the ACF. We also look at complaints from members of the public about the conduct of cadets and adults while they are taking part in cadet activities.

Most minor complaints are dealt with directly by the ACF. However, if the complaint is about behaviour that may be of a criminal nature or about a matter where a young person might be at risk it will be immediately referred to the appropriate authorities. 

  • When the allegation is about conduct which may be of a criminal nature, the matter is immediately referred to the Police for investigation. Where a young person might be at risk the Police are asked to advise whether Social Services should be involved.
  • Where the allegation is about a matter where a young person might be at risk, but not about conduct which may be of a criminal nature, a report will be made to Social Services and their advice requested.

How do you ensure the safety and wellbeing of cadets?

The safety and wellbeing of cadets is the ACF’s primary concern and the ACF constantly examines and updates its safeguarding and child protection measures and the training provided to adult volunteers to ensure it meets best practice.