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

Unhappy with a Charity Commission decision made prior to May 2019?

The Charities Act (NI) 2022 will reinstate the vast majority of decisions made by Charity Commission staff prior to the end of May 2019.     

Annual reporting requirements for registered charities update

Annual reporting for all registered charities is reinstated now that the Charities Act (NI) 2022 has received royal assent. 

Charities Act (NI) 2022

The Charities Act (NI) 2022 has now come into effect after receiving Royal Assent on the 30 March 2022.

Independent Review of NI Charity Regulation Report launched

The Independent Review Panel of Charity Regulation in NI has launched its report at a special stakeholder on 20 January 2022. 

Charity Commission launches new stakeholder forum to connect with charities

A new forum aimed at supporting and improving communications on issues around charity law, regulation and trends has been launched by Northern Ireland’s charity regulator.

NICVA's response to the Charities Bill

NICVA has prepared a response to the Charities Bill 2021.  Closing date for receipt of responses is Friday 3 September 2021.

Charities Bill – your views are being sought by the Communities Committee

Further to the introduction of the Charities Bill to the Assembly in June, the Committee for Communities has launched its ‘Call for Evidence and Views’ and seeks your views by Friday 3 September. 

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. 

Charity Law Reform Timeline

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Denise Copeland

Governance and Charity Advice Manager


Denise Copeland Governance and Charity Advice Manager's picture