Guidance for Charity Trustees
1. THE ANATOMICAL SOCIETY MEMORANDUM AND ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION AND REGULATIONS AND SCHEDULES
All Trustees are required to familiarise themselves with the Society's current governing documents:Regulations and Schedules - Amended by Council 14.07.20 Final
2. GOOD GOVERNANCE
(a) Charity Governance Code
Following a consultation, the new Charity Governance Code was published in July 2017. Developed by sector bodies and supported by the Charity Commission, the Code is a practical tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance.
This replaces the Hallmarks of an Effective Charity which has now been withdrawn by the Commission.
The new Governance Code covers seven areas:
1. Organisational purpose
4. Decision making, risk and control
5. Board effectiveness
7. Openness and accountability
The Code is designed as a tool to support continuous improvement. Charity boards that are using this Code effectively will regularly revisit and reflect on the Code’s principles.
It’s important that trustees discuss the Code’s principles and recommended practice and make well-considered decisions about how these should be applied in their charity.
All trustees are encouraged to meet the principles and outcomes of the Code by either applying the recommended practice or explaining what they have done instead or why they have not applied it.
Charities that adopt the Code are encouraged to publish a brief statement in their annual report explaining their use of the Code. It is anticipated that this statement will be a short narrative rather than a lengthy ‘audit’ of policies and procedures.
The code can be found here: https://www.charitygovernancecode.org/en/pdf
(b) Charity Commission guidance documents as at 15.11.18:
1. CC3 – The Essential Trustee: what you need to know; what you need to do https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3
2. CC30 – Finding new Trustees https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/finding-new-trustees-cc30
3. Charities: Fraud and Financial Crime https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-fraud-and-financial-crime
4. New welcome pack for Charity Trustees https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-welcome-pack-for-charity-trustees
5. Changes to rules governing automatic disqualification of charity trustees
(guidance for charities) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/automatic-disqualification-rule-changes-guidance-for-charities
(c) Other Charity Commission Documents:
1. Revised Conflicts of interest Guidance Published May 2014 http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/detailed-guidance/trustees-staff-and-volunteers/conflicts-of-interest-in-charities/
Updated January 2016
Updated January 2016
(d) Ethical Code
NCVO has developed a set of ethical principles for the charity sector. These principles provide an overarching framework for voluntary organisations to guide decision-making, good judgement and conduct. Endorsement of the principles is voluntary, but all charities have been encouraged to reflect on the principles in their work and decision-making.
Charities and those who work in and with them agree to uphold the following principles throughout their work:
¨ Beneficiaries first
¨ Right to be safe
The code is complementary to existing sector codes such as the Charity Governance Code, as well as individual charities’ codes or policies. It is not intended to replace their own definitions of values and codes of conduct.
The code is aimed at enabling all charities, no matter their size or type of activity, to be a safe place for anyone who comes into contact with them.
(e) Conflicts of Interest and Related Party Transactions - Matters of Material Significance
The Auditors are required to review annually Trustees Conflicts of Interest and Related Party Transactions.
Evidence that significant conflicts of interest have not been managed appropriately by the Trustees and/or related party transactions have not been fully disclosed in all the respects as required by the applicable SORP or applicable Regulations would be reported to the relevant Regualtor.
3. ANATOMICAL SOCIETY DATA PROTECTION POLICY AND PRIVACY NOTICE (INTERNAL) AND PRIVACY NOTICE (EXTERNAL)
AS External Privacy Statement
AS Internal privacy Notice
AS Data Protection Policy
4. THE REGISTER OF CHARITIES
5. CHARITIES AGAINST FRAUD
(a) Fraud and Financial Crime: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-fraud-and-financial-crime
(b) Insider Fraud: Insider fraud is fraud committed by somebody within the charity such as a trustee, employee or volunteer. Examples of insider fraud include (but are not limited to) financial and accounting fraud, unauthorised payments to individuals, inflated expenses and the theft of information. The Charity Commission has reminded the charity sector of the importance not only of having processes in place for tackling fraud, but of ensuring that these are applied correctly.
6. REPORTING SERIOUS INCIDENTS
The Charity Commission have published guidance on reporting serious incidents in light of the particular challenges caused by the pandemic. The guidance acknowledges that the pandemic brings new challenges which were not anticipated when the original guidance was published.
The Charity Commission’s usual guidance requires a charity to report financial losses which do not involve a crime where the losses exceed £25,000 or 5% of the charity’s income. However, this threshold has been waived for losses occurring due to Covid-19 and the Commission have stated that trustees should “focus on the significance of the impact of any losses rather than the amount.“
To support trustees in deciding whether an incident is serious the revised guidance provides a number of examples which emphasise the importance of considering the impact on the charity. For instance, the guidance states that a charity should not report a single instance of Covid-19 within the charity. Conversely, if there is an outbreak of Covid-19 which means that a charity cannot deliver services because of staff illness then this would be reportable.
On 22 September 2017, the Charity Commission published revised guidance for Trustees on reporting serious incidents. The Guidance makes clear that a serious incident is an adverse event, either actual or alleged, which results in or risks significant loss of charitable assets, damage to the charity’s property or harm to the charity’s work, beneficiaries or reputation. Fraud, theft, criminal acts and safeguarding issues are the most common types of reportable incident but this is not an exhaustive list. Important points to note are:
i. Responsibility for reporting rests with the Trustees, although the actual reporting may be delegated to appropriate staff.
ii. Reporting serious incidents to the Charity Commission is required even where the incident is also reportable to another agency, such as the police for criminal matters or Action Fraud where the incident involves actual or alleged fraud.
iii. Serious incidents must be reported promptly, i.e. as soon as practicable after the Trustees or the charity’s staff have become aware of the incident.
The Guidance also notes that making a report to the Commission is a key aspect of being able to demonstrate that the Charity has handled the incident properly, in line with duties as Trustees. The implication of this emphasis is that a failure to report an incident which then comes to the Commission’s attention by other means could lead the Commission to conclude that the Trustees are not managing the charity well. The full Guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/reporting-serious-incidents-to-the-charity-commission-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic
7. SMALL CHARITIES COALITION
Is a national support and networking organisation that helps over 6000 small charities, their staff, volunteers and trustees access the skills, knowledge and resources they need to best serve their causes.
8. THE GOVERNANCE HUB
brings together people, information and ideas about governance in the voluntary and community sector.
The Governance Hub
9. FOUNDATION FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The Foundation for Science and Technology (FST)
Publishes a number of useful guidance notes. Links to two are detailed below.
Notes for Guidance - Directors and Trustees Liabilitiies.doc
Notes for Guidance - Trustee Liability Indemnity Insurance.doc