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Charities and Social Enterprises

Serious Incident Reports

We understand that no charity wants to be in the position of contemplating whether they should make a serious incident report to the Charity Commission. However, in circumstances where you are considering whether one is necessary, we can help.

Serious incident reporting: whose responsibility is it?

Serious incident reporting is the responsibility of the trustees and whilst there are no set timeframes for doing so, reports should be made as soon as appropriate in the circumstances. Reports should set out what happened and, crucially, how you are dealing with it.

When should reports be made?

Whilst there is not a list of specific incidents which must be reported trustees should make a report where the result of an incident leads to, or there is a risk of, significant:

  • harm to anyone who encounters the charity through the work it provides;
  • loss to the charity’s money or assets;
  • damage to the charity’s property;
  • harm to the work of the charity or its reputation.

How can reports be made?

Reporting is done by way of online form on the Charity Commissions website which must include specific information including that the person making the report has the authority of the trustee body to make the report on their behalf. You also must set out your actions to date, who else you have reported the incident to (if appropriate) and the details of any other organisations involved.

How we can help you

We are experienced in dealing with these situations, having assisted many charities with serious incident reporting in the past. You can therefore trust that we’ll give you practical support, advising you on how to provide the information in a clear way, minimising the risks to the charity, and fulfilling your obligations to the Charity Commission, those you support, and those who support you. 

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