Rules on convictions and charity trustees, senior managers

On the blog of Clinks, the support body for offenders and families organisations, ‘Trustee or senior manager of a charity and have convictions? Are you affected by the Charities Act 2016?’.

This has been written by a co-director of Unlock, which has taken an active interest in the extensions to the rules on trustee eligibility that become law through the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016.

Likely to come into force in April 2017, specific parts of the act will extend the rules (that currently apply to trustees) to senior management positions of charities. The types of offences covered will also be extended to include unspent convictions for terrorism and money laundering, as well as to those on the sex offenders register (even when the conviction is spent).

As well as questions to help work out if you might be affected, there is a link to a briefing and a request for those these rules might catch to get in touch to help inform work they will be doing with the government and the Charity Commission in the months ahead.

A further quote from the blog:

“We remain of the view that the planned extension of the disqualification framework to senior managers (previously just trustees) should be scrapped. We also believe the provisions should only apply while a conviction is unspent. Ultimately, we think that the changes brought in by the 2016 Act are disproportionate and an ineffective way of protecting charities.”


Shortly after the above was published, Civil Society News reported that the government has pushed back the introduction of rules to automatically disqualify trustees and senior charity staff convicted of certain crimes “after hearing concerns that it could leave many charity staff working illegally”.

The new rules were originally slated for April next year, but are now unlikely to appear before September.