UK Armed Forces Feedback Processes

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a number of methods by which staff can submit feedback or suggestions to senior management. These include:

  1. The Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey (AFCAS).
  2. Tri-Service Reserves Continuous Attitude Survey (ResCAS). These are annual surveys which ask members of the Armed Forces to share their views of service life. The feedback is used to help shape future policies on issues affecting members of the Armed Forces.
  3. The annual MOD People Survey for which civilian, military and contractor staff are invited to provide their opinions on issues affecting them.
  4. Senior management write posts for the Defence Blog on the Defence Intranet. Staff are invited to respond with feedback or contribution for debate.
  5. The MOD also hosts periodic ‘All Staff Dial-In’ sessions where senior managers are available to answer issues raised by staff who telephone in the matters they want discussed. These dial-in sessions are transcripted and staff may refer to them via the Defence Intranet.

There is no central list of written feedback facilities and, in addition to the above, there may be local initiatives.

The MOD also has a Defence wide staff suggestion scheme known as ‘GEMS’. This scheme encourages people working within the MOD to submit innovative ideas for doing things better. The ‘GEMS’ scheme encourages all MOD employees to contribute constructive ideas for improving efficiency and organisation anywhere in the MOD. The GEMS scheme is open to all staff, Service and civilian. Both individual and team ideas are encouraged.

GEMS was introduced in April 1996 as the single Defence-wide suggestion scheme replacing all other technical and non-technical suggestion schemes. The GEMS Scheme remains the only Defence suggestion scheme that is authorised to make payments in recognition of suggestions, ideas or innovations that are implemented or a firm decision has been made to implement, and which bring identifiable benefit to the MOD.


FOI 2017/00103 dated 15 February 2018.


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