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How to report serious incidents

Charity law requires trustees to report serious incidents to their regulator as they arise. To assist trustees in determining what matters need to be reported at the current time, CCEW has produced a series of supplementary examples to its existing guidance that consider how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts upon the reporting obligation. Key things to consider include:

  • closing premises and suspending services in order to comply with government rules is not a serious incident in itself, it is the impact this has on the charity that is key as to whether a report is required.
  • the usual rules regarding the need to report financial losses where they exceed £25,000 or 20% of a charity’s income do not apply during the pandemic, rather trustees should focus on the significance of the impact of any losses incurred rather than the amount.

Trustees are reminded that ultimately it is they that are responsible for reporting serious incidents to the regulator, even if delegated to others, and that they should document the decision making process when deciding on whether to make a serious incident report or not.

Guidance by the regulators in Scotland and Northern Ireland mirrors that published by CCEW, and charities in those regions are likely to find the CCEW examples helpful when considering whether they have an obligation to notify their regulator of an incident.


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