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Trustee disqualification rules are changing


Stay bang up to date with developments in the sector and our latest thinking on issues affecting charities and social enterprises.

Trustee disqualification rules are changing

Julian Lomas

From 1st August 2018, the rules on disqualification of charity trustees in England and Wales are changing. There will be more automatic disqualifications (e.g. for previous offences or financial difficulties) and the rules will be extended to senior managers in charities, i.e. people who are disqualified from acting as a trustee will also be disqualified from acting as a senior manager in a charity. For this purpose, a senior manager is anyone who performs the functions of a chief executive or chief finance office (whatever their actual job title, pay grade or level in the organisational hierarchy).

All charities should, therefore, update their trustee appointment processes to ensure they perform the right checks on, and get the right declarations of eligibility from, prospective Trustees. And all Charities should introduce similar checks and declarations for relevant senior managers/staff.  

It is also important to check that your existing trustees and relevant senior managers will not be disqualified from those roles from 1 August 2018. This is unlikely to affect many charities, but it is important to be sure it won't be a problem for you. Therefore, you should get all your current trustees and relevant senior managers (or any who will take up those roles before 1st August 2018) to sign a new declaration of eligibility. That way you will be sure that this issue does not arise for your charity.

You can get all the necessary details from the Charity Commission, including model declarations for existing Trustees and senior managers to ensure that they will not become disqualified from 1st August 2018. If you would like our help to ensure your charity responds appropriately to these changes, please contact us at