Charities Regulatory Authority launches new Charities Governance Code

Author: Sinéad Taaffe, Colm Reddan and Tom Clarke

November 9, 2018

The Charities Regulatory Authority (“the Authority”) has launched a new Charities Governance Code (“the Code”) which sets out the minimum standards expected of charities in the Republic of Ireland.

Principles of Charity Governance

The Code covers six principles which charities should comply with in carrying out their functions:

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

Core Standards

Under each of the above principles, the Authority has set out various Core Standards which all registered charities are expected to meet. If for some reason a charity is unable to comply with one of the Core Standards, it is expected to be able to explain why this is the case. The Authority has indicated that it will, in due course, provide a suite of guidance to assist charities and charity trustees to meet all of the Core Standards outlined in the Code.

Additional Standards

The Authority has also set out Additional Standards under each of the above principles which reflect best practice for charities with high levels of income and/or complex organisational and funding structures and/or significant numbers of employees. The Authority also recognised that some charities, regardless of their complexity, may also decide to meet some, or all, of the Additional Standards if they have the organisational capacity to do so.

Timeline for Implementation

The Authority has set out a phased timeline for the implementation of the new governance code with 2019 designated as a year of learning and preparation for charities, 2020 being the first year that registered charities are expected to comply with the Code and 2021 being the first year that registered charities are expected to report on their compliance with the Code.

Compliance with the Code will assist charities in discharging their duties under the Charities Act 2009 and other applicable legislation.

The Charities Governance Code is available to view here.

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