Practical information and advice

From 1st August 2018, the rules in England and Wales as to who can be a trustee or hold certain senior manager positions in charities are changing.

The current rules only apply to trustees. People with unspent convictions for certain offences, including dishonesty and deception offences, need to be granted a waiver from the Charity Commission before they can be a trustee.

There are two main changes happening in August this year:

  1. There are more offences covered – including people on the sex offenders register
  2. There are more roles covered – the rules will apply to certain senior manager positions such as chief executives and chief finance officers.

The rules don’t apply if you’re looking to work or volunteer for a charity in other roles.

If you’re already a trustee or in a senior manager position, or you’re considering applying for such a position, you’ll need to know whether you will be disqualified and if so, whether you should consider applying for clearance (a waiver) from the Charity Commission.



We have also produced separate guidance for charities.


Tools to help you work out if you need clearance (a waiver)

Flow chart

The flow chart below should help you to work out whether you need to apply for a waiver or whether you can be involved in a charity without one.

Online tool

By working through a series of questions, the online tool will help you to work out whether you need to apply for a waiver.


Other useful links

  1. Use our disclosure calculator to work out if a conviction is spent
  2. Read our existing guidance on becoming a trustee with a criminal record (note – this doesn’t reflect the 2018 changes)
  3. Read our information on disclosing criminal records to employers
  4. Read our information on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
  5. You can also read about the policy work we’re doing on the Charities Act 2016 and the changes to the disqualification rules.
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