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Charity Commission Operational Guidance

We produce a range of Operational Guidance (OGs) for our staff. Because we are committed to conducting our work as openly as possible, we publish OGs on our website as well as internally.

If you're a trustee looking for guidance on the different aspects of managing and running your charity, you might prefer to look at the range of guidance written with you in mind - charity requirements and guidance.

OGs cover our policy and practice based on charity law; they are written to help staff carry out their work in a fair and consistent way. But OGs cannot cover every situation and staff always need to consider the facts of each case. Where necessary, staff also take professional legal or accountancy advice.

We are in the process of transferring our OGs to a new format to help staff access the information more easily. The project may take a while so please bear with us. During this transition period you will be able to see some original and some 'new format' OGs. If you have bookmarked particular OGs as 'favourites' you may need to update these as guidance is transferred to the new format. In most cases the law and policy have not changed, but when we reformat an OG we take the opportunity to review it and make any updates necessary.

About original format OGs and navigating around them

Clicking on a link in either the alphabetical index or the numerical list of OGs takes you to the index page of an OG. If the OG has only one document, you will be taken straight to it.

Different parts of the OG focus on different aspects of the topic covered:

  • A level OGs give a general overview of the subject;
  • B level OGs give more detailed information about different aspects of the subject;
  • levels below that are usually supplementary information - for example charts, checklists, letters, forms or quotes from the law.

The symbols in the margin of the text highlight legal requirements and key procedures :

Legal requirement symbol This symbol indicates a legal requirement or statement of the law.

Legal advice symbol This shows where staff are likely to seek legal advice from one of our lawyers.

Accountancy advice symbol This shows where staff are guided to ask advice from one of our accountants.

You can use the links in the contents lists to navigate around an OG. If you need to return to the top of the document you can click on an up arrow Up Arrow.

Clicking on a down arrow Down Arrow will take you to the end of the main text of the document and to a list of defined terms.

A very small amount of information has to be treated as confidential. For example, some details about law enforcement or where making information public could affect how justice is administered. We have removed this information when we publish on the website - this is in line with the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

There is an alphabetical list of OGs as well as a numerical list of OGs. Where the link is to a new format OG (numbered 300 or above), this will open in a new window allowing you to have a new format OG open as well as keeping open access to the rest of our website. You will see the layout of the new format is quite different from the original format. For more information about the new format OGs, new OG home page .

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