The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) does not define the terms ‘reprimand’, ‘severe reprimand' and ‘demotion'. These terms originate in the relevant Armed Forces legislation. The Armed Forces Act 2006 governs how these disposals are treated under the ROA.
Where there is doubt over whether a particular disposal falls under a provision of the ROA then determination of this is a matter for the courts. Under current legislation where a disposal is not otherwise dealt within the ROA, then it falls to be considered under the last entry of Table A in section 5(2) which imposes a rehabilitation period of five years.