Guidance for trustees, employees and volunteers

Guidance for trustees

Trustees should report serious incidents to the Commission as soon as they become aware of them. They may delegate this to employees or other representatives of the charity, but the responsibility rests with the charity’s trustees.

As a matter of best practice we recommend that trustees of all charities report any serious incidents to the Commission. However, for charities with an income over £25,000 the trustees must, as part of the Annual Return, sign a declaration that there are no serious incidents that they should have brought to our attention but have not. If they are unable to make this declaration then the Annual Return will not be complete and they will have defaulted on their legal requirements.

Our updated guidance for trustees explains what incidents are serious and should be reported, how trustees can do this and what information we need. We appreciate and have taken account of the feedback we have received from the sector, and the updated guidance now includes:

  • greater discretion for trustees in deciding whether to report low value fraud and theft;
  • further explanation of our role and regulatory remit and how this relates to other agencies;
  • guidance on how trustees can report to us when serious incidents occur regularly in their charity; and
  • an updated section on safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries with information on the Independent Safeguarding Authority and the Vetting and Barring Scheme, with links to other useful sources of information.

If you have any comments on this guidance we would like to hear from you. Please send your comments to:

Guidance for employees

If you are an employee that wants to blow the whistle on wrongdoing in a charity, with concerns about the proper administration of charities or of funds given or held for charitable purposes, then you need to read our guidance Complaints about Charities (CC47). You can also read our guidance which explains how you are protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

Guidance for volunteers

If you are a volunteer or otherwise connected to the charity, you should follow our guidance for members of the public about how to report your concerns to us.

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