Have you applied to be a trustee of a charity with a criminal record? If so, we’d like to hear from you

People with criminal records play an important role in many charities, especially those working in the criminal justice sector. However, if you’ve been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or deception and the conviction is unspent, you’re currently disqualified from becoming a trustee of a charity and must therefore seek a waiver from the Charity Commission.

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016, due to be introduced in early 2018, extend these rules,. This will mean more people with convictions will be affected, and it’ll also cover senior manager roles in charities.

We’re working on guidance for both individuals and charities, to help them deal with the changes. So we’d like to hear from you if you’ve got some personal experience of this. For example, you might have:

  1. Become a trustee while your criminal record was unspent – how did that process work for you?
  2. Applied to a charity to become a trustee and your application was not progressed because of your criminal record.
  3. Found that charities have policies in place that actively excluded you from applying
  4. Applied to the Charity Commission for waiver – was it successful? Or was it refused?

We’re also keen to hear you if you think you’ll be affected as a result of the changes.

Please send details of your experiences by email to debbie.sadler@unlock.org.uk. These will be kept confidential. More details on what we do with your experiences.

For more information

  1. For practical self-help information – More information is available on our becoming a trustee of a charity section
  2. Questions – If you have any questions you can contact our helpline
  3. Our policy work – Read about the policy work we’re doing on enabling people with convictions to become trustees and run charities.
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Debbie Sadler