Automatic disqualification of charity trustees

August 1, 2018

The new rules on the automatic disqualification of trustees and senior managers in England and Wales come into operation today, 1 August. S.9 of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 extended automatic disqualification of charity trustees to more circumstances and a wider range of people. Once a person is automatically disqualified, it follows that that person cannot be a charity trustee; and no regulatory action is required of the Charity Commission in order to trigger disqualification.

In January 2018, the Charity Commission published guidance on the new rules on the automatic disqualification of trustees and senior manager, which the Commission updated on 1 August. In addition, the NCVO has published its own very helpful guidance about how the rules operate. The NCVO guidance notes that charities should already have systems to check that trustees are not disqualified on appointment and at reasonable intervals thereafter. Existing trustees should be asked to confirm that they are not disqualified under either the previous or the new rules. Pre-appointment checks and periodic confirmation will now also need to be in place for relevant senior managers.

It should be emphasised that the rules apply to trustee and senior manager positions at all charities based in England and Wales, whether or not they are registered with the Commission.