Headlines: February 15th, 2007



The Charity Commission has launched a 12-week consultation on its approach to Criminal Records Bureau checks for trustees of charities working with children or vulnerable adults. Because charity trustees have a duty of care to their beneficiaries it is particularly important for charities working in these areas to ensure that they do not recruit trustees who are disqualified or might present a danger to any children or vulnerable adults in the charity’s care.

The Commission currently asks to see CRB disclosures for trustees before registering charities working with vulnerable beneficiaries and it now wants to find out if this policy is proportionate and effective. CRB disclosures are only allowed for certain trustee positions where there is a risk that an unsuitable trustee could abuse their position and harm vulnerable people. If the Charity Commission finds that a charity has not carried out checks it will question whether the charity trustees are properly administering the charity.

The Commission is seeking views on whether checks on trustees should be carried out by charities wherever they are legally allowed, or only where they are legally required. If discretion is allowed, what are the circumstances where checks should be carried out. The Commission also wants views on whether the trustees of charities with general objects which do occasional but regular work with children or vulnerable adults, should seek disclosure wherever this is legally allowed.

The consultation paper is at: http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Library/enhancingcharities/pdfs/consultcrb.pdfuld