Trustee disqualification

There have always been rules that apply to certain individuals that disqualify them from becoming a Trustee. Are you aware that the rules have recently changed?  Do you also know that these disqualification rules extend to individuals in a senior management position? Below is a brief summary on what you and your fellow Trustees need to consider prior to appointing a new Trustee or member of the senior management team

Who is an individual in a senior management position?  This term will usually relate to a Chief Executive (or equivalent) and the Chief Finance Officer (or equivalent) positions.  But it is not just limited to these titles, and the rules apply to what the individuals function is within a charity.  A member of senior management is essentially anyone member of staff that directly reports to the Trustees.  The first step for any charity is to assess which members fall within the definition of senior management, and then create a register of these individuals.

There are a number of reasons for disqualification, and the full list can be found here, along with the legislation that is applicable and any exceptions/notes relating to the reason.  Summaries of the reasons for disqualification are as follows:

Unspent convictions for specific offences:

  1. Unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception
  2. Unspent conviction for specified terrorism offences
  3. Unspent conviction for a specified money laundering offence
  4. Unspent conviction for specified bribery offences
  5. Unspent conviction for the offence of contravening a Charity Commission Order or Direction
  6. Unspent conviction for the offences of misconduct in public office, perjury, or perverting the course of justice.
  7. Unspent convictions for aiding attempting or abetting the above offences.

 Other legal disqualifying reasons – non financial

  1. Being on the sex offenders register
  2. Unspent sanction for contempt of court
  3. Disobeying a Commission Order
  4. Being a designated person (under specific anti-terrorist legislation)
  5. Being a person who has been removed from a relevant office
  6. Director disqualification

Other legal disqualifying reasons - financial

  1. Insolvency

So as you can see, the list is quite extensive.  You as Trustees need to consider the above when appointing new Trustees, or members of the senior management team.

A waiver can be applied for directly with the Charity Commission should a Trustee be disqualified.  The waiver is usually granted when it can be proved that by waiving a disqualification, it will be in the Charity's best interests.  The Charity Commission has more guidance on the matter.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Charity Team if you have any queries.