Who can run a charity? It’s all about to change…

To provide greater protection for charities, the Charity Commission has released new automatic disqualification rules which will come into force on 1 August 2018 – leaving only six months to prepare for this important change. 

The new rules build on existing requirements but apply to a wider group of people, including senior managers such as chief executives and finance directors. Be aware though that disqualification doesn’t depend on your job title, but on the responsibility and accountability of your role. New reasons for disqualification being introduced include criminal records for sex offences, terrorism and money laundering. 

There is some flexibility, however, so as to ensure you don’t lose access to your current expertise – you can apply for a waiver from the Commission from 1 February 2018. They advise submitting applications by 1 June to allow enough processing time before the rules come into effect.

What should you do?
While it’s not anticipated that many individuals and charities will be directly affected by these changes, you’ll still need to ensure you have appropriate ongoing monitoring processes in place to remain compliant.

If you believe the new restrictions may apply to you, discuss the situation with your charity’s trustees in the first instance. Together, you’ll want to agree the best way forward and whether you:
  • resign from your role by 1 August 2018; or
  • apply for a waiver from the Commission.
Ahead of the enforcement date, we recommend you:
  • update your recruitment practices;
  • ask trustees and senior management to complete a new declaration process as soon as possible to allow enough time for decisions to be made. The Commission has indicated it will be publishing an example declaration in February – we will update when this is released;
  • decide whether to apply for a waiver or for the individual to resign, if there is a concern that disqualification will apply. If resignation is chosen, you’ll also want to consider succession planning to ensure a smooth handover.
Going forward, ensure you have a process in place to update personal declarations by trustees and senior management on at least an annual basis, with an expectation set that individuals will self-declare any change to their situation when it arises.  

The rules come into effect in August so, with just six months to go, ensure you’re prepared! If you would like to discuss how these new rules may affect you and your charity, please get in touch with myself or your local charity specialist

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