Charity Regulation

The Charities Act (NI) 2008 (the Act) as amended by the Charities Act (NI) 2013, is the key legislative framework containing new regulations which charities operating in Northern Ireland must abide by.

The Act provides for the establishment of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland which, since coming into being in 2009, has been given various powers including those of investigation and enforcement.  The Charity Commission established the Register of Charities in December 2013 and is calling on all charitable organisations to come forward and register with it. 

Not all the provisions of the Act have been introduced as further secondary legislation is required to bring all of the provisions into being, for example, the CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) legal structure is not available yet and is unlikely to be for some time.  Likewise the new rules for public collections and control of fundraising are not likely to be included in the Commission's strategic agenda for the next three years. 

For more detailed information on the passage of the Act, including various briefing papers, please see the Charity Law Reform Timeline below. 

We keep the sector informed of all key charity law updates and developments. If you need further advice on any aspect of charity regulation, please contact our Governance and Charity Advice team.

 

News & Articles

Charities Bill introduced

The Minister for Communities introduced the Charities Bill to the Assembly on 21 June 2021.  

NICVA response to the independent review of charity regulation

NICVA has prepared its response to the independent review of charity regulation.  Closing date for receipt of responses is Wednesday 12 May 2021.  

Have your say in the future of charity regulation

The closing date for responses to the independent review of charity regulation is 12 May 2021. Please take this opportunity to comment on changes that are needed to help voluntary and community organisations. 

Independent review of charity regulation – please complete this questionnaire

The Independent Review Panel of Charity Regulation (the Panel) seeks your views on how well the charities regulatory framework, which is administered by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, is working and what could work better. 

Independent review of charity regulation engagement meetings

The Independent Review Panel of Charity Regulation seeks your views on how well the charities regulatory framework, which is administered by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, is working and what could work better. 

Independent review of charity regulation has commenced

The Minister for Communities has commissioned an independent review of charity regulation in N.Ireland which commenced on 25 January 2021.  

31 Oct - Charity annual reporting deadline

If your registered charity's financial year is 1 January - 31 December then you will have a deadline of 31 October in which to submit your annual monitoring return to the Charity Commission.   

Consultation on changes to the application for registration and the Annual Return Regulations 2019

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is currently consulting on proposed changes that it would like to make to both the application for charity registration and the annual monitoring return. 

Charity Commission delays charity registration for some

The Charity Commission is currently not registering all charitable organisations that have submitted an application due to a High Court ruling which was handed down on 16th May.   

Double Check Your Annual Reporting Documents, Warns Charity Regulator

Charity bank statements, instructions on how to play Bridge and a grant application are just some of the unexpected information submitted to Northern Ireland’s charity regulator under the annual reporting programme, it has been revealed.

Charity Law Reform Timeline

Contact

denise.copeland@nicva.org's picture

Denise Copeland

Governance and Charity Advice Manager

Team

Denise Copeland Governance and Charity Advice Manager denise.copeland@nicva.org's picture