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Commission publishes top tips to mark Trustees' Week 2015

To mark Trustees’ Week 2015, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has published ten tips to help all charity trustees ensure they are following their legal duties.

Speaking during Trustees' Week, running from 2 to 8 November, Frances McCandless, Chief Executive of the Commission, highlighted the important role trustees have as leaders of their charities.

However, while celebrating the commitment it takes to be a trustee, Ms McCandless also urged anyone undertaking the role to ensure they had a clear understanding of their legal duties.

She commented: “Being a trustee can be very rewarding, enabling you to play an integral role in a good cause or community activity; however it is important to remember the responsibilities that come with the position.

“As part of Trustees' Week, we have published ten tips which are aimed at supporting trustees in ensuring they are getting it right when it comes to their charity.”

The Commission’s top ten trustee tips are below.

  • Ensure you know and follow the rules outlined in your charity’s governing document.
  • Keep a list of legislation which impacts on your charity to make it easier to check the charity is up to date and compliant.
  • Ensure your charity keeps good accounting records.
  • Read and follow the relevant charity guidance produced by the Commission – it is there to support you.
  • If you need more detailed assistance, consider seeking advice from a professional or umbrella body.
  • Ensure all new trustees receive an induction and are subject to relevant trustee checks.
  • Keep good records of trustee meetings to show how you have exercised governance over the charity.
  • Keep the charity’s governing document under regular review, ensuring policies and procedures are up to date and fit for purpose.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare – whether your charity is completing registration or submitting its annual report, ensure you have enough time to read the guidance, prepare the information and submit within the deadline.
  • Read The Code of Good Governance for the voluntary and community sector, which is available on www.diycommitteeguide.org

Ms McCandless added: “While we don’t expect charity trustees to be legal experts, we do expect they will take reasonable steps to ensure they have an awareness of the relevant legislation and best practice requirements.

“The people of Northern Ireland put a great deal of trust and confidence in their charities – our tips are aimed at helping trustees return that trust by operating strong, compliant and open charities.”

Trustees' Week is an annual event aimed at showcasing the work of trustees. For more information on Trustees' Week 2015 visit trusteesweek.blogspot.co.uk

ENDS

For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Commission for Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email: shirley.kernan@charitycommissionni.org.uk

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

A non-departmental public body, the Commission is sponsored by the Department for Social Development and has a number of legal functions where it uses powers similar to those of the High Court.