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What is the Charities Governance Code?

  1. Advancing charitable purpose
  2. Behaving with integrity
  3. Leading people
  4. Exercising control
  5. Working effectively
  6. Being accountable

At a minimum, charities are expected to meet the core standards of these principles. With over 10,000 registered charities in Ireland the code was designed to work for a diverse range of organisations. More 'complex' charities are also expected to meet the additional standards set out. Each charity should itself decide whether it needs to meet these additional standards. This decision should be based on factors such as income, number of employees etc.

Compliance with the Charities Governance Code is one of the three elements required to achieve Charities Institute Ireland's Triple Lock Standard.

Who must comply with the Charities Governance Code?

All registered charities in Ireland are expected to meet the core standards of the six principles of the Code. Ultimately, the responsibility of compliance rests with the charity’s trustees. By law, charity trustees have individual and joint responsibility for what happens within their charity.

When is compliance with the Charities Governance Code expected?

The Charities Regulator stated that 2019 was to be viewed as a learning year for charities. In 2021 charities are expected to report on their compliance with the Code. In time, the Charities Regulator will publicly display whether or not a charity is in compliance. It is important to note that charities will be required to declare their compliance status as at the date they file their Annual Report, not the date of their financial year end. This gives charities the opportunity to complete the process of implementing the Charities Governance Code right up to the date of filing their Annual Report in 2021.

How does a charity comply with the Charities Governance Code?

To comply with the Code charities should follow the ten steps laid out on the Charities Regulator website. These include reading the code in full and becoming familiar with it, recording the actions you will take to comply, and declaring compliance with the Code when submitting your annual report to the Charities Regulator.

How does a charity display compliance with the Charities Governance Code?

A charity must declare its compliance to the code when submitting its annual report to the Charities Regulator. It must complete the Compliance Record Form each year. The Charities Regulator may ask for this at any time.

If your charity is not complying with the Governance Code you will need to explain to the Charities Regulator why this is. Valid reasons for non-compliance could be the winding up of your charity or the fact that your charity is newly established and needs more time to comply.


Charities Governance Code (PDF)

The Ten Steps to Compliance, Compliance Record Form, and more can be found on the Charities Regulator Website. 

Charity trustee? Sign up for our free Trustee Membership or attend our Governance Workshop.


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