The Charity Commission (the 'Commission') has launched a 3 month consultation on proposed amendments to its guidance on serious incident reporting.
As part of the annual return submitted by charities with income of over £25,000 to the Commission, the trustees must declare that there are no serious incidents or other matter which should have been brought to the Commission's attention but have not.
The Commission's guidance helps trustees to identify when a matter is a serious incident which should be reported to the Commission.
The proposed updated guidance will aim to make it clearer for charities as to what needs to be reported, as well as when the reporting needs to be happen, and how it should be reported.
The draft updated guidance:
- encourages trustees to report at the time the incident occurs or as soon as possible afterwards;
- includes guidance for charities making multiple reports or regular reports such as larger charities or those with particular risks involved with their work;
- removes the need to report incidents which are risks rather than serious incidents; and
- includes new categories of incident which occur regularly and/or charities struggle to manage.
It also contains helpful examples for trustees on when a particular type of incident should or should not be reported.
The Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Commission, Michelle Russell, has said that the Commission hopes '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.'