The Charity Commission recently published new guidance around reporting serious incidents where a charity’s partners are involved.

The guidance explanatory note says:

Trustees should make a serious incident report when an incident has occurred involving one of the charity’s partners in the UK or internationally, which materially affects the charity, its staff, operations, finances and/or reputation, such that it is serious enough to be reported.

Partners in this context includes the following:
a delivery partner or sub-contractor of the charity
a subsidiary trading company of the charity
an organisation that receives funding from the charity
another charity or organisation that is linked to your charity, for example as part of a federated structure

You can find this updated information on the website.

This recent advice does not represent a change in existing reporting requirements. The regulator has said it is designed to help charities that work with partner organisations apply existing guidance.

Elizabeth Chamberlain, acting director of public policy at NCVO, said: “The question of when to report a serious incident is a challenging one for charities, particularly those with complex activities and structures. So it is important to have as much clarity as possible, to help them deal with these issues effectively.

“Unfortunately, this additional guidance from the Commission does nothing to provide further clarification. In particular, it won’t help charity trustees decide what incident is to be considered of the level of seriousness to require reporting. The message seems to be that charities will have to report everything unless it has nothing to do with the charity.

“The result is that the Commission will continue to be inundated by serious incident reports – and we continue to have concerns about its capacity to effectively deal with this increase.”


The Charity Commission has also published a blog and a questionnaire around the subject of ethical investments.  If your charity has an investment portfolio, they are keen to hear from you, especially around how you invest in line with your organisation’s purpose and values.  You can find out more on the Charity Commission website.