By Claire Racine
The Charity Commission is calling on charities to be more
proactive in reporting serious incidents.
The Commission recently updated its guidance on how charities
could best comply with the law in this area.
“Serious incident reporting is something that trustees
must consider carefully as part of their responsibility
to safeguard and manage the risks to their charity’s
assets, work, beneficiaries and reputation,” said
Andrew Hind, chief executive at the Charity Commission.
“Serious incidents do arise on occasion, and they
have the potential to harm a charity’s reputation
or damage its ability to fundraise.”
Although the updated guidance is mainly aimed at trustees,
it will also be useful to legal and accountancy professionals
working with charities, who often are the first to become
aware of serious incidents.
The Commission defines a serious incident as one that has
resulted or could result in a significant loss of funds
or a significant risk to the charity’s property, work,
beneficiaries or reputation.
The “zero tolerance” issues that cause serious
concern include fraud, sham charities and links to terrorism.
Trustees should always report serious incidents to the
Commission as soon as they become aware of them, even if
they have already contacted another agency, such as the
The Commission’s response depends on the circumstances
of the incident and the charity’s ability to resolve
“It will not be necessary for the Charity Commission
to intervene in every instance, but we will get involved
where it is necessary to protect the charity and its beneficiaries,”
For further information, visit www.charitycommission.gov.uk