The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities for England and Wales, has launched a new public beta online charity registration service. The service offers improvements to users including:
- clearer application forms
- auto prompting and completion
- introduction of tailored question sets for charity types
- a charity name check facility
- hard copy printing
- quicker turnaround times
This is the first of the commission’s new digital services, transforming the experience customers and trustees have with the commission; which will become ‘digital by default’.
The new registration service has a re-designed application form, making guidance more accessible and the process quicker than our existing service.
As part of this new service, customers will find tailored question sets for charity types; starting with animal charities. This will focus customer responses, providing the commission with more detailed information from the start. Other tailored question sets will be introduced over the coming months.
An important feature of the new service is a built-in facility to check whether the name of a proposed charity is the same as an existing registered charity. This will save follow-up time for both customers and the commission – in turn, allowing the commission to make earlier decisions to register charities where appropriate.
The new service also allows customers to print a hard copy of the completed sections of their application form (at any point); a feature they have asked the commission to provide.
The new public beta version will run in parallel with the commission’s existing registration service for a short period. During this time customers may choose which version of the service to use. Once the new service has passed the beta tests, the existing service will be removed from use. No date has yet been confirmed for switching off the existing service. However, customers with partially completed applications using the existing service are encouraged to complete and submit their applications in full. The commission is unable to accept partially completed applications for registration.
Stephen Grenfell, Head of Registration, said:
We want to create a smooth and intuitive experience for all those who use our service. Given that we receive on average 680 new applications for registration each month, we’ve designed the service to make our work more efficient, as well as improving the experience our customers have.
We’re also encouraging customers who have started applications using our existing service (and not yet completed them) to finalise and submit them in full. Or better still, start a fresh application using the new and improved service.
Notes to editors
- The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
- To search for charities on our online register go to GOV.UK.
- Read more information on how the commission reports on its regulatory work.
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