The process for granting charitable status
The first step in processing an organisation’s application is to check that it is complete and valid. Once the organisation’s application is deemed to be complete, it will be assigned to one of the case officers and a full assessment will be carried out. The case officer may return the application to the applicant seeking further detail or clarification and it is in the organisation’s interests to respond to the case officer as quickly as possible.
Once the case officer has completed an assessment of the application, they will make a recommendation on whether or not the organisation should be registered. A recommendation for registration will ultimately be referred to the Chief Executive of the Charities Regulator for a final decision.
Organisations that are automatically considered charities
Certain organisations are automatically considered to be charities under the Charities Act 2009 and, therefore, are required to apply for registration:
Schools: Schools are required to register under section 2 Part 1 of the Act, which provides that the advancement of education shall be recognised as a charitable purpose. Under this criteria, a school - the primary purpose of which is to advance education - qualifies as a charitable organisation and must be registered with the Charities Regulator. In addition, section 2 Part 1 of the Act includes the following as a definition of an ‘education body’: ‘a recognised school within the meaning of the Act of 1998’.
Religious organisations are required to register under section 2 Part 1 of the Act, which provides that the advancement of religion shall be recognised as a charitable purpose. Under this criteria, an organisation that is recognised as advancing religion qualifies as a charitable organisation and must therefore be registered with the Charities Regulator.