Serious Incident Reporting

Trustees need to report to the Charity Commission when a serious incident occurs in their organisation.

The Commission regards a serious incident as an adverse event, whether actual or alleged, which results in, or risks, a significant:

  • loss of charity money or assets;
  • damage to charity property; or
  • harm to the work of the charity, its beneficiaries or reputation.

The most common types of incidents include frauds, thefts, significant financial losses, money laundering, criminal breaches, allegations of terrorism or extremism, and safeguarding issues.  If a serious incident takes place, charity trustees are required to report what happened to the Commission and explain how it is being managed.

As part of the annual return to the Commission, it asks trustees to "confirm that there are no serious incidents or other matters that the trustees should have brought to the Commissions's attention and have not done so already."  The Commission has produced guidance on serious incident reporting.