Part of the process of registering an organisation as a charity involves the trustees-to-be declaring that they “have carried out all trustee eligibility tests that are required by law”. This note is intended to assist those nearing the registration process.

Organisations MUST seek CRB checks for individuals proposed for the following positions:

  • Governors of independent schools and this includes proprietors, trustees or directors (the Education (Independent Schools Standards) (England) Regulations 2003).
  • Trustees of “child care organisations” meaning an organisation that “…is concerned with the provision of accommodation, social services or health care services to children, or the supervision of children” and “whose activities are regulated by, or by virtue of, any prescribed enactment” (the Protection of Children Act 1999).
  • Trustees of charities that provide care to vulnerable adults and the trustee-to-be will be providing care and/or having regular contact with those adults (Care Standards Act 2000)

If the above do not apply exactly to your situation there are other situations where organisations MAY seek CRB checks on an individual and in these situations it is the Charity Commission’s position that they should:

  • Where an organisation is a “children’s charity”. This is a wider definition than that above and essentially means an organisation that provides services to, or works with, children.  All trustees-to-be of such organisations should be checked.
  • Further education establishments: if the normal duties of the trusteeship involve regular contact with those under 18 then the individuals intended to be trustees should be checked.
  • Where an organisation is providing services to vulnerable adults and the individual is going to have access to those adults then such an individual should be checked.

Please note that in all cases Trustees have duties to manage risk and to protect the reputation and assets of their charity. Trustees of charities that work with children and vulnerable adults have a duty of care to their charity which will include taking the necessary steps to safeguard and take responsibility for those children and vulnerable adults. Trustees must always act in their best interests and ensure that they take all reasonable steps to prevent harm to them.

If you would like further information on this subject or have any comments please contact Gerald Kidd or your usual contact at Pothecary Witham Weld.

This note is intended as a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Pothecary Witham Weld, August 2012


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