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Guidance, policy and protocols


SFO case acceptance: Statement of Principle

The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to her on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.

In considering whether to authorise an investigation the Director will take into account the actual or intended harm that may be caused to:

  • the public, or
  • the reputation and integrity of the UK as an international financial centre, or
  • the economy and prosperity of the UK

and whether the complexity and nature of the suspected offence warrants the application of the SFO’s specialist skills, powers and capabilities to investigate and prosecute.

If you wish to make a report, find the right place to report your information or raise your concerns using our secure reporting form.

Codes and Protocols

In codes and protocols are documents which govern the SFO’s work and aspects of its relationship with certain other bodies.

Deferred Prosecution Agreements

Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) were introduced on 24 February 2014. A DPA is an agreement between a prosecutor and an organisation which could be prosecuted, under the supervision of a judge. Information, background and guidance on how the prosecution approaches these agreements is published in Deferred Prosecution Agreements.

Bribery Act guidance

Bribery Act: Guidance on adequate procedures facilitation payments and business expenditure.

Corporate self-reporting

Guidance on corporate self-reporting.

SFO Operational Handbook

The Operational Handbook sets out standard processes, instructions and guidance on the conduct of SFO casework. It is intended as a practical reference guide for staff and reflects, rather than dictates, best practice. The handbook is constantly updated in line with changes in legislation and other developments. The externally-published version, which is redacted, will be updated periodically.

Social media policy

A policy on the SFO’s usage of social media platforms.

Complaints policy

How to make a complaint about the SFO.

Information usage disclaimer

A disclaimer on how information obtained by the SFO is used.

Copyright disclaimer

A disclaimer on how material held on the SFO website can be used.