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Regulatory Reporting Requirements

Executive Committee members are charity trustees and therefore must comply with statutory accounting and reporting requirements.  This applies even if your Scout Unit isn’t registered with the relevant charity regulator. 

You probably know the requirements about accounts and annual returns. You can view the requirements on our website here

But do you know what “serious incidents” are and when you need to report them? 

The below guidance is for Scout units in England and Wales to comply with Charity Commission for England and Wales requirements. Guidance for Northern Ireland and Scotland is to come, but any enquiries in the mean time should be directed to the relevant charity regulator for that country:

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)

“Serious Incident” Reports - England and Wales

Within this article 'the Commission' refers to The Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Executive Committee members have a duty to take reasonable steps to assess and manage the risks to your Unit’s activities, members, work, property or reputation.  As part of this duty, the Charity Commission for England and Wales expects Executive Committee members to report all “serious incidents” to it – so that the Commission can offer you guidance as soon as possible and to help protect the charity and its members.  This applies even if your Scout Unit isn’t registered with the Commission. Again, the Commission sees failure to report as evidence of mismanagement of the charity. 

What do we need to report as a “serious incident”?
It can be difficult to decide what a “serious incident” is.  View the Commission’s current guidance.  Executive Committee members should consider reporting any incident which results, or could result, in a significant loss of funds or a significant risk to your members, work, property or reputation.  Examples of what you should report are:

What about safeguarding issues or when one of our members is injured?
Local Scouting don’t need to report to the Commission any safeguarding or safety-related incidents (unless these give rise to negative local media coverage – see above).  Nor do you need to report any negative coverage in the national media.  This is because the Association has agreed with the Commission that UK Headquarters will do this reporting on behalf of local Scouting in England & Wales. 

When do we report?
The Commission expects any serious incident to be reported to it immediately (or as soon as possible after you have made the necessary initial enquiries). Units which have to submit an annual return (i.e. those with an annual income over £25,000) must sign a declaration as part of the return that there are no serious incidents that you should have brought to the Commission’s attention earlier.

How do we report?
Complete the Charity Commissions online reporting form.  Although you can designate one person (for example your Secretary) to be responsible for completing the form, all Executive Committee members must have the chance to approve the details before it goes. 

For more information
This article is an outline only: all Executive Committee members should ensure they are familiar with:
Charity Commission guidance CC3 The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do 

Reporting Serious Incidents. 

POR has additional requirements, for example to have accounts scrutinised and to send a copy to, say, the County Treasurer or Headquarters.  (See the various Rules headed “Finance and…”)  Also, there are additional requirements for charities which are registered companies or Charitable Incorporated Organisations.


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