Where we investigate charities

We have 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. Find out how we do this through our regulatory work.

Assessing concerns

All regulatory concerns are referred to our First Contact area which applies the Risk Framework to decide whether it is a matter for the Commission. When a concern comes to our attention, First Contact considers the seriousness and extent of the risk involved and how the charity is dealing with it.

First Contact refers issues of the most serious concern for a pre-investigation assessment. This examines in greater detail the causes of concern that appear to be the most serious and may meet the threshold for inquiry by applying the Risk Framework criteria. This involves examining all allegations and causes for concern to:

  • determine the level of risk
  • decide whether a statutory inquiry should be opened
  • indicate the type of intervention required if a statutory inquiry is not appropriate

Carrying out investigations

Most problems in charities can be resolved by the charity trustees themselves. Others will be examined and resolved by the Commission without the need to open an investigation. However, in the most serious cases we may need formally to investigate matters further.

Reporting our regulatory work Find out how we report on our inquiries and regulatory casework, including where we make statements about live cases.

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.

Working with other agencies, regulators and departments Find out how we work with other regulators, law enforcement and other government departments

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.

Where we monitor charities Find out how we maintain regulatory oversight of concerns about harm and abuse and non-compliance in the charity sector

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.

Tackling abuse and mismanagement Real case studies of our investigations in the last financial year.

Inquiries into charities

Charities must comply with the law. We deal with problems in charities in a number of ways depending on what the problem is, its severity, the evidence to support it, the impact it has and what is required to resolve it. Deliberate wrongdoing, illegal activity, criminality and serious abuse will be dealt with rigorously and decisively.

Statutory inquiries into charities: guidance for charities and their advisers (CC46) Find out where we get our authority to inquire into charities and what happens when we open an inquiry


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