Where we investigate charities

The Charity Commission has a statutory objective to ensure trustees comply with their legal obligations in managing charities and to promote public trust and confidence in charities more generally. We also have a statutory function to identify and investigate abuse and mismanagement in charities. We do this in a number of ways through our compliance work:

Assessing concerns

All concerns are referred to our Assessment Unit which applies the risk and proportionality framework for compliance work to decide the most appropriate and proportionate course of action.

Carrying out investigations

Most problems in charities can be resolved by the charity trustees themselves, or simply by the Commission providing advice and guidance and without the need for us to open an investigation. However, where serious problems exist we may need to investigate this further. The Commission carries out two kinds of investigations: Non statutory investigations called Regulatory Compliance Cases and Statutory Inquiries. This section explains the circumstances in which we will open an investigation and what happens when we do so.

Working with other agencies, Regulators and departments

To regulate a diverse sector as effectively as possible we have built effective strategic and operational relationships with a range of other regulators, law enforcement and other government departments. Whilst we vigorously protect our independence, effective collaboration and joined up working is essential to effective regulation.  

Monitoring charities

Regulatory oversight is one way in which we investigate concerns about abuse and non-compliance in the sector.  Our regulatory supervision and monitoring work includes appropriate and targeted scrutiny of accounts and ensuring actions trustees have promised to carry out to deal with problems have been completed.

Preventing abuse in the first place

An important part of our role is to help charities protect themselves by raising awareness of the risks to the sector and compliance requirements, and by providing targeted advice, guidance and support.

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