Raising a Complaint in the Department

If a civil servant believes s/he is being required to act in a way which conflicts with the Civil Service Code, or becomes aware of the actions of another civil servant which conflicts with the Code, s/he should:
  • talk to their line manager or someone in their line management chain
  • if this is difficult, talk to your organisation's Nominated Officer, whocan advise you about the Code. If you cannot find details for your Nominated Officer, please Contact Us
  • give the department or agency time to consider the complaint
  • if not satisfied with the response, refer the complaint to the Commission (see below)
A civil servant may want to raise their concern with the department or agency informally at first, but he or she must normally raise it formally under the Code before referring the complaint to the Commission.

Before contacting the Commission, please consider the flowchart below:
The Civil Service Code: A guide for civil servants bringing an appeal to the Civil Service Commission  (PDF, 8 Pages, 141KB)
 explains what you should do, how we decide whether to accept your request for a complaint investigation, and how we will go about our investigation. It will help you, and us, if you consult the guide before you bring your complaint to us.
The department or agency must consider the concern and make sure that the civil servant is not penalised for raising it.
Complaints should be sent via email to:

or in writing to:

Civil Service Commission
1 Horse Guards Road
You will need to:
  • explain why you consider the actions you have been asked to take (or the actions taken by others) are wrong and in breach of the Code.
  • explain why you consider your department's internal procedures have not resolved your concern.
  • forward the correspondence with your department or agency about the matter.
You can either write directly to the Commission, or through the person in your department or agency who considered your concerns. He or she can add comments in a covering note but cannot make amendments to the complaint itself.

You may find it helpful to review the outcome of previous complaints brought to the Commission.
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