29 Jan 2018

The Charity Commission has announced new automatic disqualification rules, which will come into force on 1st August 2018.

The Charity Commission has announced new automatic disqualification rules, which will come into force on 1st August 2018.

It is important for charities to be aware that, from this date onwards, the list of reasons for automatic disqualification will be significantly expanded and will include senior managers (CEOs and Finance Directors), as well as trustees. This means that a larger group of people will be automatically disqualified. 

The list of reasons for automatic disqualification currently includes bankruptcy and unspent convictions for dishonesty and deception. From August this year, it will also include unspent convictions for bribery, terrorism, money laundering, misconduct in public office, perjury, and being on the sex offenders register.

From 1st February, individuals who are not currently disqualified, but will be after 1st August, will be able to apply to the Charity Commission for a waiver in advance of the changes. The Commission is advising anyone affected by the changes to apply for a waiver as soon as possible.

The Charity Commission has published guidance on the changes: 

 How to prepare for the changes

  • Make sure you know which posts in your organisation will be affected
  • Check whether any existing trustees and managers are affected and ask them to sign a declaration confirming that they are not disqualified
  • If any individuals will be disqualified after 1st August and intend to continue in their role, they will need to apply for a waiver from the Charity Commission
  • Make sure that your recruitment processes for trustees and senior managers will identify candidates who are disqualified
  • Add the new restrictions to the declaration forms that you ask trustees, CEOs and Finance Directors to complete on appointment. The Commission will be publishing a model declaration from 1st February. 

These changes are the result of the remaining provisions of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 coming into force.