FAQs – Signing the Covenant and the Employer Recognition Scheme

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about signing the Armed Forces Covenant and the Employer Recognition Scheme are provided below.


To sign the Covenant, you must agree to demonstrate its two core principles: that no member of the Armed Forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to other citizens; and that special consideration may be appropriate for some members of the community, especially the injured or bereaved.

Businesses of all sizes, charitable organisations, local authorities, and public sector organisations can all apply.

Foreign registered businesses can apply to sign the Covenant as long as they have a registered office in the UK. Some exceptions apply for UK Overseas Territories. For more information about this, please contact co-drmresearchquery@rfca.mod.uk.

The process

If you’re interested in signing the Covenant, get in touch with your local Regional Employer Engagement Director. They will be able to guide you through the signing process. After expressing interest, you will receive a pledge certificate by email to print off and sign.

There is no fee for signing the Armed Forces Covenant.

You will receive a physical copy of your Covenant pledge after the signing.

There is no fast-track process. Organisations looking to enhance their Employer Recognition Scheme journey will start at bronze and move through each level of the award scheme.

No, your commitment to the Covenant does not expire. Employer Recognition Scheme awards are renewed every five years.

Pledges under old organisation names are still valid, but best practice would be to conduct a re-sign. This can be organised by engaging with your local Regional Employer Engagement Director.

Customising your pledge

Yes, you can tailor your Covenant pledge to your organisation’s needs and capacity. You decide how you will demonstrate your support by writing your own pledges or by choosing pledges from a provided list of suggestions.

Yes, many organisations choose to hold a signing ceremony to publicly demonstrate their commitment to support the Armed Forces Community and sign the document in the presence of Armed Forces representatives, with the support of the local Regional Employment Engagement Director and representatives from local military units.


There is no definitive timescale for the process to be completed, as each request to sign the Covenant is taken on case by case basis.

Due diligence is an integral part of the process. This enables us to understand the organisation, their commitment, and monitor their journey in receiving their correct accreditation. For this reason the process can take some time, but we aim to have it completed within a week.

Promoting your pledge

You will be sent the Armed Forces Covenant digital toolkit, which includes the Covenant logo, on completion of your signing. If you require another toolkit please contact us. Please also see the Covenant brand guidelines.

You will be able to promote your Covenant pledge once you have received your certificate of signing.

Finding signatories

You can search for businesses who have signed the Covenant. This spreadsheet provides a list of the current Covenant signatories, and the specific pledges by each organisation.

Organisations are usually listed within a few weeks of signing. However, this is subject to due diligence checks and processing.

Resolving disputes

Concerns should initially be raised with the organisation concerned, by following their standard complaints process.

Complaints that remain unresolved can be referred by the complainant to the relevant ombudsman. The key public sector ombudsmen are: Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, and in England, the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, Housing Ombudsman, or Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Enquiries and complaints about Covenant signatories can also be directed towards the Ministry of Defence. Organisations not fulfilling their pledge can have their Armed Forces Covenant status reviewed. Please contact afcovenant@rfca.mod.uk.


For more information, please also see:

  • If you have a query or comment about the Armed Forces Covenant and wish to receive a response, please use the Contact Us form.
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