Press release: Improving regulatory compliance – reporting serious incidents

The Charity Commission the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today launched a 3 month public consultation on its proposed updated guidance for charities ‘What to do if something goes wrong: reporting serious incidents’.

Serious incident reporting is an important regulatory compliance tool for the Commission, with casework continuing to find serious incidents that should have been reported but were not. The Commission is also asked on a regular basis by charities for advice on what to report, how and when.

With this updated guidance, it aims to help charities identify what to report and when. Listing the most common types of incidents, the guidance explains what should be reported to the Commission (as well as to the police and other regulators). New checklists and a table of examples of what, and what not, to report to the Commission are included.

The Commission reminds trustees that they must act quickly and responsibly when problems do occur, including by making a serious incident report and taking steps to avoid a similar problem occurring in the future. Serious incident reports should be made promptly to the Commission via the dedicated email facility:

The Commission specifically welcomes comments on the draft guidance from trustees, charity staff and volunteers, professional advisers, and those with an interest in the charity sector.

The full consultation questions and details on how to respond are published on GOV.UK.

Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement said:

We welcome comments from across the charity sector and a range of stakeholders on the proposed updates to the guidance.

We hope that that this improved guidance will raise awareness of the need to report serious incidents and help trustees identify how and when to make a report to the Commission. Our advice is – if in doubt, report it and take steps to prevent problems happening again.



Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
  2. Search for charities on our online register
  3. Charity trustees need to report actual or suspected serious incidents to the Commission and should do so as soon as they are aware of them. If trustees fail to report a serious incident, the Commission may consider this to be mismanagement and take regulatory action.

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