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Applying to stop disqualification

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Use this page to find out about what the board, trustees and senior manages can do in the event of trustee disqualification.

Trustees and senior managers can apply for a waiver (a waiver brings a person’s disqualification to an end) if they have been disqualified. The new rules on waivers came into force on 1 August 2018. It’s the individual person who applies for a waiver – not the charity. The Commission will decide whether to give someone a waiver based on the individual’s case and:

  • the level of risk they present to the best interests of charities where the waiver would apply
  • whether giving a waiver is likely to damage public trust and confidence in a charity or charities.

What the Charity Commission will consider in waiver applications

Some of the specific factors that the Commission will consider include:

  • the conduct that led to their disqualification
  • how long it’s been since the disqualification came about
  • whether a disqualification relating to financial management stemmed from financial circumstances out of the person’s control
  • the view of charity trustees
  • the purposes of the charity (especially rehabilitating people with criminal records)
  • the importance to the charity of their involvement
  • user perspective
  • whether the acts which led to disqualification damage a charity or were done against a charity.

The Commission cannot give a waiver for a charitable company or charitable incorporated organisation if the reason for disqualification is bankruptcy, unless leave was given by the court.

Applying for a waiver for a specific charity or set of charities is more likely to be successful than applying for a waiver for all charities in a particular category or all charities.

The Charity Commission has published the following guidance:

Information trustees need to provide to the Commission

Individuals apply for disqualification waivers, but the Commission will want the following information from the trustees of the charity or charities affected.

  • Whether a majority of the trustees support the application.
  • Details of the recruitment process that led to the appointment or proposed appointment.
  • Details of the duties and responsibilities the person holds or wants to take up.
  • Why the trustees consider that this is the best person for the position.
  • Why they cannot act in an advisory capacity.
  • Whether the trustees have assessed and can manage any risk to the charity and its assets.
  • The trustees’ views on the impact on the position and reputation of the charity.
  • For undischarged bankrupts, trustees’ views on whether legal limitations on their activities could damage the charity.

Read guidance on how the Charity Commission assesses waiver applications and makes a decision on GOV.UK.

Further information

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 28 June 2022

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