Service Personnel & Veterans Agency Policy towards Trans Service People

If the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) are contacted by a former Service Person who has undergone gender reassignment or who wishes to change permanently their gender, their records will be changed as follows:

Name Change

On receipt of a request for Gender name change, supported by a copy of a deed poll, the requestor’s name will be changed on the following systems:

  1. The JPA System;
  2. The Compensation and Payment System (CAPS) electronic system that holds Armed Forces Pension Scheme Information;
  3. The Electronic Data Management System (EDMS) (All electronic holdings that relate to historical data held within SPVA);
  4. The War Pensions Compensation Scheme (WPCS) system, if relevant;
  5. Appropriate Manual File holdings;
  6. Penserver, the system of Xafinity Paymaster, the SPVA pensions paying agent;

Gender Change

On receipt of a request for gender change, supported by a copy of the Gender Recognition Certificate, CAPS, WPCS, Penserver, the EDMS and the extant manual files will be changed. For JPA a record of gender change applicants will be kept by the Pensions Manager to ensure that once supporting policy is in place the requisite changes can be made to historical data.

Security of Information

In both these cases the veteran would be advised when records have been changed, to ensure that they are aware that in future only the altered data would be accessed by staff responding to any request made of the Agency. JPA EC agents deal with calls following a script designed to meet the needs of Service, or former Service Persons making contact with the Agency. It is not possible to predict who might call, the identity of any caller or their current circumstances. For these reasons agents will ask the caller to provide a name and Service Number. For those serving, memorable data is also used to confirm identity before proceeding.

A similar process is followed for former Service Personnel. In most cases the JPA EC agent will be able to access the JPA record when a name and number is entered and that will reflect the current name and gender. Once a Service Person has terminated, CAPS becomes the prime management system. However, name and/or gender changes made on CAPS are not reflected upon JPA and there is therefore a danger that the caller may be addressed and identified incorrectly. The Agency is aware of this and the proposed new processes address this issue by ensuring the change is made on both systems.

In most cases the PA EC agent ask for and log the caller’s Service Number, first name and surname together with a contact telephone number. Advice subsequently provided to former Personnel is usually generic as specific information is only provided to written requests. In most cases the agent will advise where these written requests should be directed while occasionally they may be able to dispatch forms to the caller.

The Veterans Helpline has a process in place on WPCS which identifies records that have a partial access. This group of records includes Veterans who have requested that their gender be changed on the system. Helpline staffs also use CAPS to identify records. The Veterans Helpline has a number of scripted questions that they ask the Veteran including asking for their National Insurance Number (NINO).

Possible Changes

The procedures above are the ones currently followed. However interim procedures are under active consideration to use pending the publication of any Tri-Service guidance. The changes will most likely take the form of a Script change whereby the caller is identified as either “Active Service” or “Veteran”. If the caller is identified as a “Veteran” the identifying question would be the NINO (which is Gender Neutral as far as the Enquiry Agent is concerned) rather than Name and Service Number. If the caller does not know their NINO they would then be invited to provide their “Service Number” and if they do not wish to provide their “Service Number” they would then be invited to ring back once they have their NINO. There would be no disclosure of information or discussion with the caller about their gender or gender history, unless initiated by the caller.