Assessing concerns

When we receive complaints about a charity they will all be assessed against the Commission’s published policies about complaints and a Risk and Proportionality Framework for the Commission’s Compliance Work.

The Assessment process will determine whether we should deal with the particular concerns raised about a charity and, if we decide we do, establish the most appropriate and proportionate course of action to take. It will also ensures a consistency of approach to our work.

We will not investigate all complaints or concerns raised with us about charities. Nor are we allowed to interfere in the internal administration of a charity, or become involved in its internal affairs when trustees have acted within their legal powers.

We will deal with problems in charities in a number of different ways depending on what the problem is, its severity, the evidence to support it, the impact it has and what is required to resolve it. Even where we have regulatory concerns and do engage further about them, it may not be proportionate for us to open a formal investigation into the charity. Sometimes we will focus on the charity going forward and not on past actions, and so address concerns by providing regulatory advice and guidance to put the charity back on a secure footing for the future.

The likely outcomes from the assessment process are one of the following:

  • There is no regulatory issue, but the charity may benefit from further specialist or enabling advice provided by Charity Services; 
  • It is not an issue that can be dealt with by the Commission and we advise you who else might be best placed to deal with this; 
  • The matter is dealt with by regulatory advice and guidance provided by the Assessment unit; 
  • The matter is referred to the Compliance Monitoring Unit, perhaps to consider a compliance visit to the charity; or 
  • The matter is sufficiently serious to need further examination and/or investigation by one of our Investigation Units or it may be clear that the Commission needs to exercise its regulatory powers to resolve the problems or protect the charity and its assets.

If it is referred to one of our Investigation Units it will be taken forward as either a Regulatory Compliance Case or Statutory Inquiry.

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