Reserve Forces Tribunal guidance

About us

The Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunals (RFAT) were established under the Reserve Forces Act 1996.

The Reserves are an integral and vital part of the UK's Armed Forces. The Reserve Forces include ex-Regular Reserve Forces and the Volunteer Reserve Forces (VRF), whose members can be categorised as follows:


Members of the Reserve Forces
Subject to compulsory Call–Out
Service Authority/Adjudication Service
Volunteer Reserve (VR) Forces (VRF) Ex–Regular Forces
Note Name Short form Name Short form Name Short form
Maritime Reserves Royal Naval Reserve
Royal Marines Reserve
Royal Fleet Reserve RFR Royal Navy/ Royal Marines RN/RM
  Territorial Army TA Army Reserve AR Army  
  Royal Auxiliary Air Force RAuxAF Royal Air Force Reserve RAFR Royal Air Force RAF
  • VRF members serve within VRF units and usually train in the evenings, at weekends and for at least two weeks each year (on 'annual camp'). Although some members of the VRF have served in the Regular Forces, there is no requirement for them to have done so.
  • The ex–Regular Reserve Forces comprise ex–members of the Regular Forces who still have a liability for mobilised service.

For RFAT purposes, the Respondent to an appeal is the relevant Service Authority, i.e. the Royal Navy/Royal Marines, the Army or the Royal Air Force, each of which operates an adjudication service.

Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunals

The Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunals (RFAT) re-hear applications by members of the Reserve Forces and their civilian employers, including Reservists who are self-employed, against the decisions or determinations of Ministry of Defence (MoD) Adjudication Officers (AOs) in respect of:

  • (a) the call out of Reservists, who can apply for their exemption, etc. from permanent or mobilised military service; and
  • (b) disputed claims for financial assistance by any of the categories of applicant mentioned at (a) above in respect of a Reservist who has been called out and accepted into mobilised service.

For appeals in connection with applications for exemption, etc. from call out, RFAT hearings will generally take place within 28 days of receipt, before which a Reservist will not normally be deployed outside the UK.

The Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunals (RFAT) are administered by the Tribunals Service, and are located at Alexandra House, where all enquiries and official communications should be directed.

Secretary of Tribunals
Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunals (RFAT)
Tribunals Service
Alexandra House
14-22 The Parsonage
M3 2JA

HM Courts & Tribunals Service


Get email alerts
Find a form
Find a court form