Service Police Complaints Commissioner (SPCC)

Body: Service Police Complaints Commission
Appointing Department: Ministry of Defence
Sectors: Defence, Judicial, Prison & Policing
Location: Any region
Skills required: Legal / Judicial, Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £120,000 pro rota
Time Requirements: 2.5 days per week

This is not a ministerial appointment.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Service Police Complaints Commissioner (SPCC) will provide independent oversight of the Service police, as the head of a new complaints regime that is to be established to review and investigate the most serious allegations made against members of the Service police. The new complaints regime will be modelled on the regime for the civilian police in England and Wales and, as such, the Commissioner will have functions similar to those conferred on the Director General of the Independent Office for Police Conduct.


The SPCC is a statutory Crown appointment made on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for Defence.


The key responsibilities of the role are to:

  • secure the confidence of persons subject to service law and service discipline, as well as to secure the public confidence in the Service police complaints system;


  • secure, maintain and review arrangements in respect to the procedures that deal with complaints, conduct, and death and serious injury matters;


  • make recommendations and provide advice in relation to those arrangements, (for example, training or procedures where the SPCC believes this may improve policing practice);


  • independently investigate the most serious and sensitive cases;


  • engage with senior stakeholders in the Armed Forces, including the Defence Council, single Service Boards and the Provost Marshals (the Royal Navy Police, the Royal Military Police, and the Royal Air Force Police are each headed by a Provost Marshal), senior MOD officials and Ministers;


  • act as the review body for certain cases (to be specified in regulations); and


  • report annually to Parliament via the Secretary of State for Defence on the delivery of the Commissioner’s functions.


Person Specification

Candidates must demonstrate that they meet the following essential criteria:


Essential criteria:

  • Significant senior leadership and management experience, with a track record of success within a complex and sensitive environment.


  • High level of political awareness and sophisticated relationship management skills proven with a wide range of stakeholders.


  • Excellent oral communication and inter-personal skills with an ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and people at all levels of organisations.


  • Excellent judgement and strong analytical skills with proven ability to make judgements and difficult decisions in complex and technical matters.


  • Excellent written communication skills with ability to produce reports which include evidence-based recommendations.


Desirable criteria:

  • Experience in a regulatory, complaints adjudication or similar environment.


  • An understanding of either service law and the service justice system, or criminal law and the criminal justice system.


  • Ability to command the confidence and the respect of the Service Police forces, Armed Forces personnel and key stakeholders.


  • Ability to engage sensitively with complainants and victims, including understanding the potential vulnerabilities and challenges they face and the support they may need during the complaints process.


  • Considerable personal resilience, given the individual responsibility and sensitive nature of the cases the Commissioner will deal with.


The successful candidate must abide by the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members.


Additional Information

The Armed Forces Act 2021 (which amends the Armed Forces Act 2006) states that a person is disqualified from being the Commissioner if any of the following applies—

  • the person is a member of the regular or reserve forces (whether or not as a member of a Service Police force);
  • the person is a former member of a Service Police force;
  • the person is currently employed as a Civil Servant.


Due to the nature of the post (which is independent of the Ministry of Defence), it is not appropriate for the SPCC to occupy paid party-political posts or hold sensitive, senior, or prominent positions in any political organisation.


49869_SPCC_Candidate Information Pack_OSP
49869_SPCC_Disability Confident Scheme Declaration_OSP
49869_SPCC_Diversity Monitoring Form_OSP
49869_SPCC_Expression of Interest Form_OSP
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