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Are you a trustee or senior manager of a charity? Check if your criminal record might prevent you from that role from August 2018. Act now!

From 1st August 2018, changes to the ‘automatic disqualification’ rules mean that there will be more restrictions on those who may run a charity.

The guidance that we’ve published today, Leading charities with conviction, coincides with the opening of the Charity Commission’s new ‘waiver’ system. From 1st February 2018, people affected by these changes may use the system to apply for advance clearance.

The current rules only apply to trustees. People with unspent convictions for certain offences, including dishonesty and deception offences, are prevented from being a trustee until they apply for, and are granted, clearance from the Charity Commission.

There are two main changes happening in August this year:

  1. There are more offences covered – including people on the sex offenders register
  2. There are more roles covered – the rules will apply to senior manager positions such as chief executives and chief finance officers.

There are over 11 million people in this country with a criminal record, and they play a vital role in contributing to charities.

We would rather not have had to write this guidance. We believe the changes to the rules are unnecessary and ineffective. But as they are coming in, people need to act now. It’s important that neither individuals nor charities think that these changes mean people with criminal records can’t be involved in charities – they can and they should.

Our message is this: don’t wait until August. If you’re involved in a charity and find that, from reading our guidance you’ll be disqualified from August 2018 because of your specific criminal record, today is the first day from which you may apply for a waiver. If you’re granted a waiver, it means you’re no longer disqualified.

Read our guidance for individuals and also use our simple online tool that should help you work out if you’re affected by the changes.

Separately, we’ve also published guidance for charities.

Written by Christopher Stacey


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Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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