Before you apply
Please read the user guide(s) relevant to your application before starting the process, as they list the requirements for
Review the legislation to specify the statutory function
Applicants should review the applicable legislation (the Charities Acts 1961 and 1973, as amended) to specify in your application the statutory function you wish the Charities Regulator to exercise. With reference to the circumstances of the application, you must set out in the statutory declaration (or in a cover letter if the application type does not include a statutory declaration) the reasons the jurisdiction is invoked, having regard to any conditions set out in legislation.
We cannot provide legal advice to applicants. As an application commences a legal process, applicants are strongly advised to take independent specialist legal advice before making a submission to the Charity Services Unit.
You must also ensure that all charities that relate to your application to the Charity Services Unit have filed their
latest annual report with the Charities Regulator (section 52 of the Charities Act 2009). Annual reports are filed by the charity’s Authorised Filer and are due within 10 months of the end of the financial period to which they relate. You can check the status of a charity’s compliance with this obligation by using the Search the Register of Charities function on our website and selecting the “Finance & Activities” tab.
The applicant charity’s details on the Register of Charities must also be correct and up to date, including details of all current charity trustees. You can quickly check the details that are on the public Register of Charities using the
Search the Register function on our website. If there are any changes to make, we have a step by step guide to help you update the Register. Please note that all changes must be made before submitting your application to the Charity Services Unit.
Further information is available in our ezine article - Compliance declarations
Submit the latest governing document(s)
A copy of the latest governing document for all charities that are the subject of your application must also be submitted. If your application involves a property holding company, its governing document should be submitted in addition to the governing document of the registered charity.
How to apply
All applications can only be submitted online, via the Charities Regulator’s MyAccount portal. You will need a user account to submit an application for any of the services we provide to charities. Information about MyAccount can be found on our website including how to create a new user account or log in to an existing account.
Application review process
The application process is part of a legal process. While we endeavour to progress applications and respond promptly to queries, it may take several months to complete an application – depending on a number of factors including the completeness of the initial submission, the type and complexity of the application and the volume of other applications. Many application types involve statutory notice periods and by necessity are considered in stages. Due to the volume of correspondence and applications we receive, there may be a delay in responding to queries in relation to the status of applications.
There are three main stages in the consideration of applications.
Stage 1 - Completeness check and legal review
All applications undergo an administrative completeness check before undergoing a legal review by the Charity Service Unit (CSU). During this check, further application documentation or responses to queries may be required before an application is referred for legal review.
If your initial application is not complete, or has been submitted by or on behalf of a charity which is not compliant (up to date with its obligations to submit an annual report and to maintain its trustee and charity details), it will be returned. This will delay the entire process, as the application must undergo a further completeness check when resubmitted.
Please be aware that non-compliant charities may also be referred to the Compliance and Enforcement Unit of the Charities Regulator, which has powers to impose sanctions on the charity/charity trustees for non-compliance.
The legal review stage of the process may lead to further queries being raised with an applicant charity and an application will not pass this stage until satisfactory responses to those queries have been received.
Stage 2 - Charity Services Committee
Applications which have passed a legal review by the CSU are considered by the Charity Services Committee (CSC), which usually meets two weeks before every meeting of the Board of the Charities Regulator (the “Board”). The CSC may make a recommendation to the Board for decision, or may seek further documentation or responses to queries before making a recommendation. Determinations can only be made by the Board.
Stage 3 - Determination by the Board
Applications are considered for determination at meetings of the Board. There are nine meetings scheduled each year. Applications which have not passed a legal review by the CSU at least one month in advance of a Board meeting are unlikely to be considered for addition to the CSC meeting agenda. Submission of a complete application does not guarantee that a matter will be listed for inclusion on the next CSC meeting agenda. In many cases, applications are considered by the CSC and the Board on a number of occasions before a final determination may be made by the Board and applicants should take account of this in their planning.
Notice of determinations does not issue to applicants until after a meeting of the Board has taken place.
The scheduled dates of meetings of the Board of the Charities Regulator (the Board) and the Charity Services Committee (CSC) for this year are set out below. Please note these dates are preliminary and are subject to change without notice.
Before submitting an application to the Charity Services Unit, please also read the Application Process section and other relevant guidance to familiarise yourself with the requirements for submitting a valid application.
Charity Services Committee (CSC)
Charities Regulatory Authority (Board)
Thurs, 15th February
Thurs, 1st February
Thurs, 29th February
Thurs, 28th March
Thurs, 2nd May
Thurs, 23rd May
Thurs, 6th June
Thurs, 20th June
Thurs, 18th July
Thurs 1st Aug
Thurs, 12th Sept
Thurs, 26st Sept
Thurs, 24th Oct
Thurs, 14th Nov
Thurs, 28th Nov