Armed Forces Covenant: guidance and support

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The government is committed to supporting the armed forces community by working with a range of partners who have signed the covenant. The covenant is a national responsibility involving government, businesses, local authorities, charities and the public.

Addressing commercial disadvantage

We are continually looking to identify areas in which the armed forces community is at a commercial disadvantage.

If you feel you have suffered commercial disadvantage because of you or your family members’ service, please take a moment to complete the short survey to let us take account of your experiences.

Terms and conditions

By signing the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) an organisation demonstrates its intention to support the Armed Forces community and provides the signatory with the opportunity to be recognised by the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award. An ERS award shows that the recipient is delivering tangible support for the Armed Forces community. The Ministry of Defence (MOD), as the representative of HM Government, welcomes these commitments and is grateful for the support being pledged and provided. However, neither signing the AFC nor achieving an ERS award should be taken to imply MOD endorsement of any individual or organisation.

ERS awards at Silver and Gold level are reviewed every five years, at which point they can be renewed for a further five years, providing the organisation is continuing to deliver support. However, at any time, the MOD reserves the right to withdraw an award and/or to remove an organisation from the register of AFC signatories, if it considers that the organisation is acting in a way that is incompatible with the spirit of the AFC or otherwise behaves in a way that could bring the AFC, the ERS or the MOD into disrepute.

By signing the AFC and/or achieving an ERS award, an organisation becomes eligible to use the Covenant and ERS logos. However, this permission remains at all times conditional upon complying with the branding guidelines. Any organisation that is removed from the AFC register or has an ERS award withdrawn must remove the related branding from all corporate material including but not limited to its websites, social media channels, publicity leaflets etc as soon as practicable.


A full list of Armed Forces Covenant policy and guidance documents is available here.

Covenant for businesses

Businesses and charitable organisations who wish to demonstrate their support for the armed forces community can sign the covenant. In doing so they make a range of written and publicised promises to set out their support.

Find case studies and more on the microsite.

Covenant for communities

For communities, the Armed Forces Covenant is a promise of mutual support between a civilian community and it’s local armed forces community.

A Covenant Fund is available for community projects that offers small grants up to £20,000 and large grants up to £500,000.

Covenant for serving personnel and families

There are several initiatives as part of the Armed Forces Covenant designed to support serving personnel and their families. There is also information about understanding your employment rights as a reservist.

Information about support services for armed forces is here.

SSAFA, the armed forces charity, has produced an Additional needs and disability: a guide for families publication which includes a directory of support across all 3 services.

Work, job and pension information for armed forces is here.

Find more case studies on the microsite.

Covenant for veterans

Apply for a grant from Aged Veterans Fund to fund projects for practical support and companionship to improve older veterans wellbeing and services to assist individuals in their needs.

Information about support services for veterans is here.

Find out about other support services for veterans on the covenant microsite.

Covenant for policy makers

Information on the policy and how we will support the armed forces community through the Armed Forces Covenant. A full list of Armed Forces Covenant policy information and related documents is available here.

Published 21 January 2014
Last updated 30 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added the terms and conditions section to the page.

  2. Added the list of ministers that work on Veterans and Armed Forces Covenant issues.

  3. Added a link to the SSAFA 'Additional needs and disability: a guide for families' publication in the Covenant for serving personnel and families section.

  4. Added Armed Forces Covenant annual report 2016

  5. Added links to the covenant microsite.

  6. Added link to Addressing commercial disadvantage survey.

  7. Added link to commercial disadvantage survey.

  8. Added the Armed forces covenant annual report 2015 and related links

  9. Added Aged Veterans Fund: how to apply guidance

  10. Added Covenant Fund guidance on how to apply

  11. Added the Aged Veterans Fund.

  12. Added the covenant fund.

  13. Updated the Newsletter heading to include link to the community covenant conferences 2015: presentations

  14. Added the AFC 2014 annual report update.

  15. Updated link to signed corporate covenant pledges.

  16. Added 'Armed forces corporate covenant: signed pledges (part 2)'.

  17. Added link to Veterans accomodation fund

  18. First published.