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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Update to charity registration online form: FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the update to the Commission’s online charity registration application form are below. Please click on a question to be brought to that answer, or scroll down to read all the FAQs.

  1. Why has the online registration application been updated?
  2. When did the update happen?
  3. What changes have you made to the form?
  4. Can I see a paper or online copy of the updated form? 
  5. I had started an application on the previous form but can’t find it now – where can I access this information? 
  6. I have tried to log onto the updated form using the password you sent to me but it isn’t working? 
  7. I have tried to log onto Online services but my password isn’t working? 
  8. I am waiting to be called forward for registration – has the update delayed the call forward of applicants?
  9. I have not yet been called forward to apply for registration – will the update impact me?
  10. I have used the Commission’s previous registration guidance to prepare for my application – will I have to read new guidance?
  11. I had submitted an application before the update – what should I do now? 
  12. I had submitted an application before the update but the Commission has requested further information – has my information been lost in the update?
Answers

1. Why has the registration application been updated?

The Commission is committed to continuous learning and development, taking on board the feedback that we have received from more than 5,300 applicants who have already used the system.

In keeping with this ethos, the implementation of an updated registration application form allows the Commission to introduce a more user friendly and intuitive version of the application.

2. When did the update happen?

The update to the online registration application went live in early June 2016, when it replaced the previous application form.

The updated form can be accessed via the green box in the Register your charity section of the Commission’s website.

3. What changes have you made?

While it is designed to be more accessible and intuitive, the updated form is fundamentally the same as the previous form in terms of content.

The same information and documents are being requested and only the look and the flow/format of the questions have changed.

4. Can I see a paper or online copy of the updated form?

Online screenshots of each page of the updated registration application form are available in the Registration support section of the Commission’s website.

5. I had started an application on the previous form but can’t find it now– where can I access this information?

With the update now live, information which was started but not submitted on the previous form is no longer available and the applicant will have to begin a new application using the enhanced form.

In order to minimise the impact of the change on organisations which have been called forward to register the Commission previously issued public alerts and emails directly to applicants regarding the update.

This included strongly encouraging applicants to submit their registration application as soon as possible, and at the latest on or before 27 May 2016. Alternatively, if they would not be able to submit by this date, they were advised to print or save a copy of this information for use in a new application.

Organisations were warned that applications saved, but not submitted, prior to the enhanced form going live would be lost and the organisations would have to begin their application again, using the updated form. 

6.  I have tried to log onto the updated form using the password you sent to me but it isn’t working, do I need a new password?

As with the previous form, only organisations which have been called forward by the Commission will be able to access the form.

Organisations called forward before 3 June 2016 should contact the Commission on admin@charitycommissionni.org.uk to be provided with an email containing a link which they can use to receive a new password.

Organisations called forward after 3 June should use the password link they receive in their call forward email to receive their password.

7. I have tried to log onto Online services but my password isn’t working?

Passwords issued to organisations prior to 3 June 2016 to provide access to Online services (OLS) will no longer work following an update to the system, which took place in early June.

Existing OLS users can issue themselves with a new password to access to the system by clicking on the “Forgotten Your Password” icon and entering your charity’s NIC number (numbers only). You will then be provided with an email containing a link to reset your password.

Please note that only charities registered with the Commission are able to access Online services.

8. I am waiting to be called forward for registration – has the update delayed the call forward of applicants?

In order to minimise the impact of the update on applicants, the Commission has been managing the call forward of applicants very carefully in recent months.

However, with the call forward of all deemed charities and grouped applications nearly complete, the Commission anticipates that it will soon be able to commence calling forward applicants, including expressions of intent, to apply for registration over the coming months.

9. I have not yet been called forward to apply for registration – will the update impact me?

No. When you are called forward you will receive an email with a link to receive a password, which will allow you to log onto the application form. You will also be provided with further information and advice on applying for registration.

However, if you have not yet been called forward then we ask that you first ensure the Commission knows about your organisation by checking the online registration list and following the steps as appropriate to your organisation.

If your charity is on the registration list and contact details are not requested then no further action is required at this stage.

10. I have used the Commission’s previous registration guidance to prepare for my application – will I have to read new guidance?

The Commission’s registration guidance, including application screenshots, has been updated to reflect any changes made to the form. You can access all the Commission’s registration guidance by clicking here.

However, as the information requested is fundamentally the same as previously, the earlier version of the guidance, including the public benefit and purposes toolkit, will have provided important and relevant support. 

11. I had submitted an application before the update – what should I do now?

If you have already submitted your online registration application then the update will not impact you as the Commission already holds a copy of the application you have submitted.

The Commission will contact you if we need further information.

12. I had submitted an application before the update but the Commission has requested further information – has my information been lost in the update?

If you have already submitted your online registration application then the update will not impact you as the Commission already holds a copy of the application you have submitted.

At various stages of the registration assessment process, the Commission may contact you for further documentation or information. This is a normal part of processing a registration application, for example where required documentation or information was not provided with the application, is incomplete or further details are required to ensure a complete assessment.