Glossary of Terms
 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

 
Activities means anything done using resources belonging to the organisation, or under its control and including all of its work and services.
ACAS Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides up-to-date information, independent advice, high quality training and works with employers and employees to solve problems and improve performance. www.acas.org.uk  
Account Reconciliations describes any accounting practice which aims to ensure that two sets of figures which should agree with each other do so; for example a bank account reconciliation is when a check takes place that the organisation’s accounts’ cashbook agrees (reconciles) with the bank statement.
Accruals Accounts Pack the Charity Commission have produced this pack, known as CC17, to assist non-company charities that are below the audit threshold prepare their trustees’ annual reports and accounts on the accruals basis. The packs provide templates for these documents and, when fully completed, they meet the recommendations of SORP 2005 and the requirements of law and can be used for submission to the Charity Commission.
Additional Support Needs are the support needs of people with mental health problems, physical health problems, physical, sensory or auditory disability, people recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, people with learning disabilities and people with criminal records, as well as people with no confidence.
Adequate Resources sufficient funds to finance your operations, sufficient people to carry out the work.
AGM is an Annual General Meeting, open to all members.
Aims are the long term goals for the future that your organisation is working towards achieving. They are often expressed in terms of the changes that you are aiming to bring about.
Annual Accounts the statutory accounts required to be submitted to the Charity Commission, and Companies House for incorporated charities, relating to a particular financial year. The required content of the accounts varies according to the size of the charity and further guidance can be found in CC15a - Charity Reporting and Accounting: The Essentials.
Annual General Meeting is an annual meeting, called by the trustees of a charity, or directors of an incorporated charity, to which members are invited to attend. Subjects normally discussed include the annual report, audited accounts, election or re-election of trustees and directors.
Annual Report means the organisation’s verified statement of good financial management and reporting. This is often a fairly comprehensive document as legislation sets out the minimum levels of information that should be included:
  • a trustees’ report;
  • a statement of financial activities;
  • an income and expenditure statement for the year;
  • a balance sheet;
  • a cash flow statement; and
  • notes to the accounts.
Annual Return this is a return which must be made by all charities to the Charity Commission each year. It has three parts and how many of these parts a charity must complete is based upon their income in the previous financial year. The Charity Commission encourages completion via their website, but on request will send relevant parts to a named person in a charity (click here for guidance).
The information given on the Annual Return may be recorded on the Register of Charities, which is open to public inspection at the Charity Commission’s offices and on their website; however a charity’s bank details or trustees’ addresses and telephone numbers and dates of birth are not available to the public.
Annualised Hours Employment Contract calculates an employee's core working hours on an annual basis. The worker may negotiate any kind of working schedule with his or her employer, provided that he or she meets the basic annual minimum of hours stipulated by the contract. This system allows great flexibility for both workers and employers.
Articles of Association used to be called Memorandum and Articles of Association (often called Mem and Arts) and was the governing document for a Company Limited by Guarantee. It consisted of 2 parts. The Memorandum set out:
  • the company's name;
  • where the registered office of the company is situated (in England, Wales or Scotland); and
  • what it will do (its objects).

The Articles of Association set out the rules for the running of the company's internal affairs. Since 2010 new governing documents comprise a single document, the Articles of Association, which includes all the information above.

Assets means the property of an organisation, including, for example: cash, bank and building society deposits, consumable stocks, trading stocks, debtors and prepayments or any other amounts receivable in the short term; land, buildings, vehicles and equipment and investments held on a continuing basis; copyright and intellectual rights.
Audit means the external examination and verification of accounts. The nature of the process will depend on the context in which the word is used. In the main, charities with an income exceeding 500,000 or assets of more than 2.8 million are required by law to have an annual audit from a registered auditor. Charities below this amount can elect to have an audit (for example if a funder requires it) or instead to have an independent examination. These income thresholds have changed due to the various implementation dates of the Charities Act 2011 and Companies Act 2006.
“Away Day” is a period of dedicated time given for the accomplishment of clear and realistic objectives in order to achieve a specific action plan and as its name suggests, often takes place away from the normal location for meetings.
   

B

 
Beneficiaries are those who benefit, and/or receive services, from the organisation.
Board the Board is the organisation’s governing body. This may be called the management committee, executive committee or board of directors, or may be referred to by some other title. The Trustee Board of a charity are the people “having the general control and management of the administration of a charity.” (Part 9, Section 177. Charities Act 2011).
Breach of Trust means acting in a way which is inconsistent with your powers and duties as trustees, whether those powers and duties are set out in the charity's governing document, or are part of general law.
Trustees who work outside their governing document may be acting “ultra vires” i.e. outside their powers and in breach of trust. This may mean that Trustees are wholly and personally liable for any losses that the charity may incur. Whatever the legal structure of your organisation, the liability of the trustees’ liability will not be limited if they act illegally.
Brokerage is a way of helping charities find new Trustees. A brokerage service is provided by the NCVO Trustee Bank. It is a countrywide directory of organisations that can offer:
  • Introduction services
    Some organisations tend to provide a simple service providing a list of individuals who are interested in trusteeship and it is up to you to interview candidates and select them. They often also provide information and training for organisations and individuals.
  • Placement services
    Organisations providing placement services usually get more involved in various aspects of trustee placements. They tend to provide introductory courses, get involved in the interview process, match trustees to organisations and undertake induction programmes and ongoing support. These services can range from local volunteer centres to national trustee placement schemes.
  • Recruitment services
    These organisations tend to provide a comprehensive recruitment service, operated generally from the private sector. Their level of involvement can be as detailed as is required, for example, from ‘headhunting’ to consultancy or advice on advertising.
  • Online services
    This is a new form of trustee recruitment. Increasingly, trustee opportunities are being publicised on the internet. Some websites are a means for individuals to more easily find out about vacancies; others are a way of encouraging employee volunteering.
Buildings Insurance provides insurance cover for the fabric of the building itself. Where a charity is the freehold owner of a building and insurance is not the responsibility of a lessee or tenant, it is recommended that the trustees should normally insure the building for its full reinstatement value, even if there is no actual duty to do so.
In some cases, e.g. historic churches, it is often difficult to place a value on such buildings and the insurance costs would be prohibitive. In these cases the level of insurance should cover the costs of replacing the building with something with an equivalent “people” capacity.
Business Plan is a document prepared by an organisation’s management, detailing the past, present, and future of the charity. It generally projects future opportunities for the organisation and maps the financial, operations, marketing and organisational strategies that will enable the organisation to achieve its goals.
   

C

 
Campaigning covers a wide range of activities. It is used to refer to:
  • public awareness raising and education on a particular issue;
  • influencing and changing public attitudes; and
  • political activities which are intended to influence Government policy or legislation, and which may involve contact with political parties.

Much campaigning work by charities involves acting as an advocate for their service users or beneficiaries. Like campaigning, advocacy covers a wide range of activities, which can range from general awareness raising activities through to direct engagement in political activities. It may, or may not, involve political campaigning.

Cash Flow Projections (or Forecasts) are different from Budget Projections in that they look specifically at when money is coming in and when it is being spent. This could be very useful for groups, who rely on income and grant aid, to chart where they are and whether there could be any difficult periods of the year where expenditure is exceeding income and they may not have enough money in the bank to pay their bills. By producing a year’s cash flow projection, it should be possible to identify any problems well in advance, providing enough time to take remedial actions.
Casual Employees are employees engaged for a limited number of hours or sessions with no obligation on the member of staff to take further work or on the employer to offer it. Some important points to note are:
  • As the casual employee is employed whilst he/she is working, Income Tax and/or National Insurance should be deducted.
  • There is no 'mutuality of obligation' and no continuing relationship, simply a one-off contract, although it may be repeated. If the arrangement continues or is regularly repeated however, there is a risk that the employee will acquire rights to continuity of employment.
  • Organisations should set out the basis on which casual employees are employed and the anticipated duration of their employment.
Chair means the trustee or other person who leads the charity's meetings. In addition to chairing meetings, the chair has wider responsibilities than the other trustees; for example, helping to plan trustee meetings as well as acting as the link between the trustee board and staff and representing the charity at appropriate events. The charity’s governing document often gives the Chair a casting vote in the event that votes are tied.
Change Management is the way organisations deal with and cope with change. Managing change requires trustees to develop skills and insights that will make a difference to the way change impacts on the organisation. By dealing head on with the challenge of change you will create a leadership strategy that will motivate, persuade and inspire those around you.
Charitable Company means a company formed and registered under the Companies Act 2006 and its predecessors or one to which the provisions of that Act apply, and which is established for charitable purposes.
Charitable Objects and Purposes From 1st April 2008 the 4 categories (heads) of charitable objects which had been in existence since 1891 were replaced by 13 purposes (12 specific purposes and one “catch-all”) and a group is charitable if all its aims and objects as stated in the constitution are charitable. The purposes are:
  • prevention or relief of poverty;
  • advancement of education;
  • advancement of religion (which includes religions which involve belief in more than one god, or do not involve belief in a god);
  • advancement of health (including the prevention or relief of sickness, disease or human suffering) or the saving of lives;
  • advancement of citizenship or community development (including rural or urban regeneration, and the promotion of civic responsibility, volunteering, the voluntary sector or the effectiveness or efficiency of charities);
  • advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;
  • advancement of amateur sport (sports or games which promote health by involving physical or mental skill or exertion);
  • advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity;
  • advancement of environmental protection or improvement;
  • relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage (including relief given by the provision of accommodation or care);
  • advancement of animal welfare;
  • promotion of the efficiency of the armed forces of the Crown, or the efficiency of the police, fire, and rescue services or ambulance services;
  • other purposes currently recognised as charitable under charity law or s.1 of the Recreational Charities Act 1958, and any new purposes which are analogous (similar) to another charitable purpose.

What is included within these charitable purposes has been extended and developed by decisions of the Court and of the Charity Commission over the years. This development of law reflects changes in social conditions, and the process continues today.

Charitable purposes continue to be characterised by a desire to benefit others for the public good. To be a charity, all purposes of an organisation must be exclusively charitable; a charity cannot have some purposes which are charitable as well as others which are not. A charity’s charitable purposes are usually expressed as its objects.

Charitable Purposes See above
Charitable Trust is is an organisation set up to manage money or property, for specific charitable purposes as set out in the Trust Deed. The Trustees hold the trusts assets on trust for the beneficiaries, who are the people or purposes that can benefit from the assets of the organisation.
Charity a Charity is an organisation that is established for exclusively charitable purposes in accordance with the law of England and Wales.
Charity Accounting See SORP
Charity Commission is established by law as the regulator and registrar for charities in England and Wales. Their aim is to provide the best possible regulation of charities in England and Wales in order to increase the effectiveness of charities and improve public confidence and trust in them.
Charity Reserves means income that becomes available to the charity and is to be expended at the trustees' discretion in furtherance of any of the charity's objectives ('general purpose' income), but which is not yet spent, committed or designated.

Charity reserves excludes the following:
  • Permanent endowment;
  • Expendable endowment;
  • Restricted funds;
  • Designated funds; and
  • Income funds that could only be realised by disposing of fixed assets held for charity use.
Charity Returns are the documents that charities are required to submit to the Charity Commission. Charity returns and accounts (if necessary) should be submitted to the Charity Commission within 10 months of the Charity’s financial year end or from the date of incorporation for a new company.
Charity Trustees see Trustees
Code of Conduct means a set of written and agreed procedures and rules which govern how the trustees of a Board, or Management Committee, conduct themselves.
Community Development means the development of communal activity to improve the quality of life in a particular geographical area. According to Social Enterprise London, it is 'Work with people on a neighbourhood or community basis that promotes self-help, mutual support and collective action.'
Community Engagement means the involvement of any individual, group or organisation that can affect or be affected by the outcome of a decision or plan, in those decision-making processes.
Company Limited by Guarantee is an alternative type of incorporation used primarily for non-profit organisations that require corporate status. A Company Limited by Guarantee does not have a share capital, but has members who are guarantors instead of shareholders. The guarantors give an undertaking to contribute a nominal amount towards the winding up of the company in the event of a shortfall upon cessation of business. It cannot distribute its profits to its members, and is therefore eligible to apply for charitable status if necessary.
Companies Act means the Companies Act 2006 and its predecessors.
Company records are the official records (registers) to be kept by companies listing:
  • members;
  • directors and secretaries;
  • directors' other commercial interests; and
  • financial charges, that is, loans or other obligations that affect the company's overall financial health.
Companies House the main functions of Companies House are to:
  • incorporate and dissolve limited companies;
  • examine and store company information delivered under the Companies Act and related legislation; and
  • make this information available to the public.
Company Records every company must keep official records of the company. The Company Secretary is usually responsible for this duty and ensuring that they are securely stored. The records will include:
  • registers of present and past directors and company secretaries
  • minutes of board meetings and general meetings
  • the Certificate of Incorporation recording the formation of the company
  • the Articles of Association
  • copies of the accounts.
Company Seal an embossing press used to indicate the official signature of a company when accompanied by the signatures of two officers of the company. Since 1989 it has been possible for a company to indicate its agreement without use of the seal, by two signatures from the directors or company secretary plus a formal declaration. However, some companies still prefer to use a seal and for a few companies the articles of association of the company still require a seal to be used.
Company Secretary is an officer of a charitable company with duties set out in company law to ensure compliance with the charity’s governing document and other legal requirements.
Confidentiality means the right of individuals, whether trustees, staff, volunteers or service users, to have information about them held in confidence by the charity. Where information is original and not publicly known, it may be considered to be confidential information. Confidentiality is central to the trust between individuals and the organisation. A written confidentiality policy will provide assurances about confidentiality.
See also Data Protection.
Conflicts of Interest may be actual or perceived. It may arise where a trustee’s personal interests, or interests which they owe to another body, and those of the organisation arise simultaneously or appear to clash.
Constitution is the governing document or the rulebook of your organisation. You must comply with what it says. A Constitution may also be called the Rules. If your organisation is also a company limited by guarantee, your governing document will be called the Articles of Association.
Contents Insurance means insurance covering the contents of a building such as furniture, equipment and cash. Charities should have a suitable insurance policy covering all possible losses. It may include cover for equipment used away from the building, for example laptop computers.
Co-opt the means by which a person is added to a Trustee Board or other committee at a time other than at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). This is usually done by the existing members of the Board or committee voting for the person to join them. A person co-opted onto a Board or committee only serves until the next time that elections to the Board or committee are held, i.e. the next AGM. If they are to stay on the Board, they would need to be formally elected at the AGM.
Creditors people or organisations to whom your organisation owes money.
Criminal Records Bureau means the former executive agency of the Home Office for England and Wales that provides a regulated "one stop" service of records checks from information provided by the Police and the Independent Safeguarding Authority. Individuals who work with children and adults deemed vulnerable in certain situations are eligible to obtain a CRB disclosure. In November 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority merged to create the “Disclosure and Barring Service" (DBS).
Custodian Trustee is a corporation whose main function is to hold the legal title to investments and property on behalf of the charity. Custodian trustees can act only on the lawful instruction of the charity or managing trustees.
   

D

 
Data Protection Data Protection is a legal requirement under the Data Protection Act 1998 which came into force on 1st March 2000. The Act implemented the EU Directive on Data Protection. The Act did not make significant changes to the existing law (the Data Protection Act 1984) and many core areas have remained the same.
Declaration of Interest is a list of any personal interests that a person has outside the organisation. Details of these are usually kept in a register and are updated at least annually. A personal interest is usually considered to be one that affects the person individually or a person / body / organisation they have a close connection with. If a person has a personal interest in any item on the agenda of a meeting, they should declare the interest at the start of the meeting.

The person must then decide if they are going to remain in the meeting for the agenda item concerned or if they will withdraw from the meeting for the item concerned. The decision as to whether to stay is likely to depend on whether it could be thought that the personal interest in the item being considered is so great that it is likely to prejudice your judgement over the item. An example of when it would be appropriate for a trustee to withdraw would be if they were also a trustee of another charity which would benefit financially, perhaps through a grant, from the matter under discussion.

Another example would be if they or a close relative of theirs was bidding for a contract to undertake work for the organisation, e.g. a building contract. In both situations the trustee should withdraw from the meeting for that agenda item and take no part in the discussion or decision. This should be noted in the minutes.

Debtors people or organisations which owe your organisation money.
Director the people elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting of an incorporated charity. They direct the organisation and typically make only major business decisions, policy changes and monitor the day-to-day activities of the employees.
Disciplinary Procedure is used when an employer has concerns about an employees’ conduct or performance. Good disciplinary procedures will help you handle these matters in a fair and consistent way and avoid claims in an employment tribunal.

In October 2004, new laws were introduced requiring all employers, regardless of their size, to have a disciplinary procedure.

Disclosure and Barring Service created in November 2012, this new agency was the result of the merger between the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority. It provides a regulated “one stop” service of record checks from information provided by the police and other agencies. Individuals who work with children and adults deemed vulnerable in certain situations are eligible to obtain a DBS disclosure.
Due Diligence is a process that usually takes place when two or more organisations decide to merge. It involves each organisation providing extensive information on their finances, employment contracts, properties (either owned, leased or rented), contracts, insurances, liabilities etc, so that each organisation within the merger is reassured that there are no serious impediments (or nasty surprises) that could affect the merger and the new organisation.
Duty of Care means the duty of trustees to:
  • Use reasonable skill and care in their work as trustees, using their personal skills and experience as needed to ensure that the charity is well-run and efficient.
  • Consider getting external professional advice on all matters where there may be material risk to the charity, or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties.
   

E

 
EGM is an Extraordinary General Meeting and is any general meeting of members other than an AGM. It is occasionally referred to as a Special General Meeting (SGM) by unincorporated charities.
Employers' Liability Insurance should be taken out by charities which have employees. Under the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 as amended by the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1998, all employers are required to have a minimum insurance cover of 5 million for injury or disease suffered or contracted by employees whilst carrying out their duties. A certificate showing that a valid policy is in force must be prominently displayed by the employer.
Employment Contracts are usually for an indefinite period and can be terminated by giving notice in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract or any longer period of notice required by law. However, short-term contracts and fixed-term contracts specify a limited length of time over which an employee will be working and this in turn affects some of their entitlements. All employment contracts are always subject to the employee’s right not to be unfairly dismissed.
Employment Contract Law means the current legislation relating to employment contracts, including:
  • The Employment Rights Act 1996 which requires employers to provide employees with a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment, or ensure this information is easily available, within two months after an employee begins working.
  • The Employment Protection (Part-time Employees) Regulations 1995 which requires employers to provide a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment to all employees, irrespective of whether they are considered to be full or part-time.
  • The Working Time Regulations 1998 which place a statutory limit on working hours for most workers. They require employers to provide paid holiday time, breaks, and minimum rest periods. Some workers, such as transport workers and senior management staff, may be exempt from these regulations. These and other workers have the right to negotiate their working time with the employer individually, through a recognised union representative or a fairly elected workforce representative.
  • The Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 which govern levels of pay. The National Minimum Wage Regulations oblige employers to pay eligible workers at a minimum rate consistent with that set by the government.
Equal Opportunities policies are not required by law, but are recommended as good practice. It can be useful evidence that your organisation does not condone discriminatory practices and is taking appropriate steps to meet your legal obligations.
An Equal Opportunities Policy should include:
  • Commitments - the policy should explicitly state the organisation's intention to offer equal opportunities to all workers regardless of status, sex, disability, age, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, sexual orientation or race.
  • The policy should also state the organisation's commitment to treating all workers fairly and respectfully and to setting systems in place designed to provide the greatest possible access to equal opportunities.
  • Additionally, it should extend protection against bullying and harassment to all.
  • The scope of the equal opportunities policy should be broad, including part-time, fixed-term, casual and freelance workers.
Ethos means the distinguishing values, beliefs and character of an organisation. The ethos of an organisation may determine the way it treats its staff and/or volunteers, beneficiaries, customers, environment and legal responsibilities.
Evaluation see Monitoring.
Excepted charities do not need to register with the Charity Commission because they do not meet the minimum requirements for registration or because they have been specifically excepted from the requirement to register by legislation or by order of the Charity Commission. These charities include the Scouts, the Guides, voluntary schools and certain religious charities with income under 100,000 per year. They are still subject to the other provisions of the Charities Acts 2011, and to supervision by the Charity Commission.
Exempt charities cannot register as charities and are not subject to supervision by the Charity Commission. These charities (listed in Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011) include industrial and provident societies and some educational institutions such as universities and national museums.

The provisions of the Charities Act 2006, and now the Charities Act 2011, are establishing “principal regulators” for various types of organisation who will monitor them for compliance with charity law. The Commission will have power to investigate such an exempt charity if the principal regulator requests this.

Ex-Officio Trustee a member of a committee or board by virtue of a particular office or position held. This may be a local dignitary such as a mayor, or may be a funder who wants to keep in close contact with the organisation. Ex officio trustees have the same responsibilities as other charity trustees.
   

F

 
Fidelity Insurance can be obtained to make good the loss to the charity arising from fraud or dishonesty on the part of any of its employees where they are handling the charity's cash or other valuables. It may be possible to extend this cover to include also fraud or dishonesty on the part of any of the trustees and/or volunteers.

This type of cover (now commonly known as "theft by employee insurance") is not a substitute for sound financial and personnel risk management and is usually provided only if the charity can demonstrate that its administrative arrangements are both adequate and properly supervised.
Financial Procedures are designed to ensure the propriety and efficiency of the organisation's activities. They typically include policies for the proper accounting, control and protection of the income, expenditure and assets of the organisation. By means of delegation the Board must ensure that financial procedures appropriate to the size and complexity of the organisation exist. This could be achieved by compiling and distributing a financial procedures manual, and/or by responding to reports on areas of weakness by external auditors.
Fixed Term Contract means an employment contract that will end:
  • On the expiry of a fixed term, for example three months;
  • On the completion of a particular task, for example, to create a database;
  • On the occurrence or non-occurrence of any other specific event, for example until you move to a new office.

The Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 came into force on 1st October 2002. Fixed-term employees have the right not to be treated less favourably than permanent employees doing similar work, unless it can be objectively justified. Fixed-term employees can bring a claim by complaining to an Employment Tribunal.

Focus Groups are usually small groups of people who are task orientated in that they focus on one particular topic for discussion and time limited in that they finish as soon as the work is completed.
Funders Individuals or groups who provide you with funding.
Fund-Raising Events Insurance can be obtained to cover losses arising from cancellation of fund-raising events such as fetes, shows and galas due to bad weather. This is commonly referred to as "pluvius insurance". There are usually strict time limits and arrangements for measuring rainfall levels with this type of insurance.
   

G

 
Gift Aid is a tax relief for single outright cash gifts made to charities by individuals and companies in the UK.
Governance means the systems and processes concerned with ensuring the overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of an organisation.
Governing Document means any document setting out the charity's purposes and, usually, how it is to be administered. It may be a trust deed, constitution, articles of association, will, conveyance, Royal Charter, Scheme of the Commissioners, or other formal document. Your Governing Document is the rulebook of your organisation and you must therefore comply with its contents.
Grievance Procedures enable employees (and/or volunteers) to address any grievances they may have on a variety of factors affecting their well-being and ability to do their job effectively. These include:
  • Harassment
  • Intimidation
  • Incompetent colleagues
  • A dangerous work environment
  • A lack of resources to do their job
  • Too great a workload
  • Bullying.

Grievance procedures must comply with strict statutory requirements and care must be taken to ensure that any grievances are dealt with in accordance with these requirements.

   

H

 
Holding Trustee means a person, corporation or individual who holds a legal title to a charity's property on its behalf. The charity's governing document may confer additional powers and responsibilities on the holding trustee(s), but holding the legal title to the charity's property is usually all they do. Provided that holding trustees act only on the lawful instructions of the managing trustees, they will not be held responsible for any action (or lack of action) on the part of the managing trustees.
   

I

 
Incorporated Charity is a charity which is also a company, usually a company limited by guarantee. An incorporated charity has a legal personality separate from the trustees / members. This means that an incorporated charity can enter into contracts, hold the title to land, sue and be sued in its own name. Trustees of an incorporated charity are better insulated from financial liability than those of an unincorporated charity, although trustees remain liable for breaches of trust.
Independent Examination is less rigorous than an audit and can be used by charities with income of less than 500,000 or which do not have assets of more than 2.8 million. It can be carried out by anyone who the trustees reasonably believe has the ability and practical experience to carry out a competent examination of the accounts, although for charities with income over 250,000 the independent examiner must be appropriately qualified.

It is an alternative to a professional audit. It is a process of scrutinising a charity's accounts below the level of a professional audit. It covers slightly less than a full audit, but is still a very thorough form of scrutiny.

Independent Examiner is an independent person who is reasonably believed by the charity trustees to have the requisite ability and practical experience. For charities with an income of over 250,000 and less than 500,000, the person must have an appropriate qualification to carry out a competent examination of its accounts.
Industrial and Provident Societies An Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) is an organisation conducting an industry, business or trade, either as a co-operative or for the benefit of the community, and which is registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. A community business, housing association or voluntary organisation that trades or produces goods can become an IPS.
Information Commissioner The  is an independent officer who is appointed by Her Majesty the Queen and who reports directly to Parliament. The Information Commissioner’s duties in relation to the Data Protection Act 1998 are to:
  • promote the following of good practice by data controllers and, in particular, promote the observance of the requirements of the Act by data controllers;
  • spread information on the Act and how it works;
  • encourage where appropriate, the development of Codes of Practice for guidance as to good practice; and
  • make assessments in particular cases as to whether or not any processing of personal data has been or is being carried out in compliance with the Act.
Intellectual Property Rights means legal protection for creative works such as writing (copyright), inventions (patents), processes (trade secrets) and identifiers (trademarks). It is important to check that the materials used by your organisation, are owned by your organisation or that you have the rights to display materials owned by third parties. This content may be in the form of text, photos, graphics, cartoons, video or audio. It is often not quite as simple as obtaining permission to use a copyright work which someone else owns.

You may be using something which is not identical to their work, but which is similar. Depending on how similar it is, and whether your work is based on theirs, you may need to get their consent. There is normally a fee to pay for a consent, so you need to be fairly sure you have to have the consent before you ask for it.
Investment Policy this is set by trustees and should be recorded in writing. It will help trustees to show that they are making good use of the charity's funds. The policy should address the following areas:
  • the need for enough resources for the charity to carry out its present and future activities effectively
  • the level of acceptable risk and how to manage it
  • the charity's stance on ethical investment, if any.
   

J

 
   

K

 
   

L

 
Learning Disabilities refers to disorders that affect such processes as reading, writing, listening, speaking, and spelling and that cause a discrepancy between potential and actual achievement.
Legal Expenses Insurance may be obtained to cover the cost of certain legal expenses which may arise if the charity has to bring or defend legal proceedings and would otherwise be payable by the charity out of its own assets (unless recoverable from the opponent). Where this form of insurance covers the costs of an employment dispute, it usually also covers the charity's liability (as employer) for any specified compensation awarded to the employee. The cover can normally extend to include actions brought against the trustees, employees and volunteers.

Legal expenses insurance is normally bought before any dispute or claim has arisen, but it is also possible to buy legal expenses insurance after a particular need for legal action has been identified, when the cover will protect the charity's uncertain exposure to costs in dealing with the existing claim or dispute.

Line Management is the provision of a regular point of call for support for staff and volunteers. This support covers a number of areas:
  • agreeing the key aspects and boundaries of the job / task role;
  • communication;
  • resources and equipment;
  • advice;
  • encouragement and motivation; and
  • regular review.
Loss of Revenue / Increased Cost of Working Insurance can be arranged to cover reductions in a charity's business income and/or increases in its overheads if the business is disrupted as a result of a fire or other event causing damage to its premises and / or equipment. The cover should at least meet the cost of hiring new premises and / or equipment for the duration of any building work or whilst awaiting the replacement of equipment.
Local Strategic Partnership A Local Strategic Partnership (LSPs) is a single non-statutory, multi-agency body, which usually matches local authority boundaries, and aims to bring together at a local level the different parts of the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. LSPs were seen as key to tackling deep-seated, multi-faceted problems, requiring a range of responses from different bodies.

Local partners working through a LSP will be expected to take many of the major decisions about priorities for their local area. These priorities will be detailed in a Local Strategic Plan. With changes in funding, a number of LSPs have disbanded, but others remain as partnership bodies.

   

M

 
Management Committee is the term used for the group of people who have responsibility for decisions made and actions taken by a voluntary organisation or community group. It may also be called an executive committee, council of management or board of management. If the organisation is a charity the management committee members may also be charity trustees. In membership organisations the management committee is usually elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting.
Management Systems are the systems that management put in place in order to carry on business efficiently, ensure the observation of management policies, safeguard organisational assets and secure the completeness and accuracy of records. These may cover anything from financial practices to staff accountability and use of equipment.

Of these controls, those regarding finance are most frequently in the spotlight, often because they have been ignored or circumvented! However, other systems - such as those governing supervision, authorisation and approval of projects, safety or allocation of staff duties - may prove just as essential to the health of the organisation.
Memorandum and Articles of Association Now called the Articles of Association.
Minutes are a record of what has happened at a meeting. For meetings that have a legal status, the minutes are a legal record of the meeting. Minutes are an invaluable source of information for those at the meeting as well as for those who could not make the meeting.
Mission the purpose and values of an organisation – usually described in a ‘mission statement’
Mission Drift means loss of focus on charitable objectives as laid down in the governing document.
Mission Statement Mission Statement is a brief statement of an organisation's purpose and values – the reason why it exists. The mission does not say much about what an organisation will do, or how or when it will do it, but does contain a long-term statement of intent deriving from the vision that originally inspired the organisation.
Monitoring Monitoring and evaluation work hand-in-hand, but you also need to distinguish between them. Monitoring is about collecting information that will help you answer questions about your project. It is important that this information is collected in a planned, organised and routine way. You can use this information to report on your project and to help you evaluate its effectiveness.

All organisations collect information and keep records and this becomes ‘monitoring’ when the information is collected routinely and systematically. The information might be about activities or services, your users, or about outside factors affecting your organisation or project. Monitoring information is collected at specific times: daily, monthly or quarterly.

You need to bring this information together so that it can answer questions such as:

  • How well are we doing?
  • Are we doing the right things?
  • What difference are we making?

At this point you are starting to evaluate. While monitoring is routine and ongoing, evaluation is an in-depth study, taking place at specific points in the life of the project.

Motor Insurance covers risks arising from operating motor vehicles. Where a charity owns or operates motor vehicles, the trustees must comply with the provisions of the Road Traffic Acts, which make it compulsory to have insurance against third party injury and property damage.

If trustees, employees or volunteers are using their own vehicles for the purposes of the charity or on the business of the charity, the trustees must ensure that the insurance held by the owner of the vehicle extends to such use. Any additional premiums incurred in this respect may be met from the income of the charity. There are special requirements in respect of minibuses used to transport people on a hire or reward basis and the charity's insurers should be able to advise the trustees on these.

   

N

 
National Governance Hub No longer in existence, but some of their work has been taken over by the NCVO Leadership and Governance team.
Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life is a House of Commons Committee set up in 1994 with Lord Nolan as its first Chair. The Committee was set up with the following terms of reference: “To examine current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities, and make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life.
For these purposes, public office should include: Ministers, civil servants and advisers; Members of Parliament and UK Members of the European Parliament; Members and senior officers of all non-departmental public bodies and of national health service bodies; non-ministerial office holders; members and other senior officers of other bodies discharging publicly-funded functions; and elected members and senior officers of local authorities”.

In 1997 the terms of reference were extended by the then Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Tony Blair MP: "To review issues in relation to the funding of political parties, and to make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements".

Nominee means an individual or corporate body, normally appointed by the charity trustees, whose function is to hold the legal title to the charity's property or investments on behalf of the charity trustees. Nominees have no role as such in the charity's management. They must act on the instructions of the charity trustees, unless they are told to do something which is in breach of trust. Custodian trustees are a type of nominee. Their roles and responsibilities are defined by statute. Another type of nominee is a "holding trustee". Their roles and responsibilities may be defined in the charity's governing document, or in an agreement between the charity trustees and the nominee.
   

O

 
Objectives are the methods by which you are achieving your organisation’s aims, in other words, the activities you undertake.
Objects The objects of a voluntary or community organisation are usually contained within its governing document. They are a legal statement of the purpose of the organisation. If they are wholly and exclusively charitable in law, then the organisation is a charity and subject to charity law and the charity regulator. It is the charitable objects and activities which make an organisation a charity, not registration with the Charity Commission or other regulator.
Order An order is a legal document by which the Charity Commission may give trustees a power which they do not already have to do something; for example, to include a power of amendment in a charity's governing document.
Organisational Chart is a chart that describes in diagrammatic form the structure of the organisation. It is the skeleton upon which every other activity depends. More importantly it is the framework which explains the communication pattern, process and the linking mechanisms between the various roles within the organisation. It illustrates to everyone who communicates with whom, how the control system works, who is in control, who has the authority and above all, who is responsible.

It explains how the organisation is co-ordinated and how individual departments relate. Formal structures are often based on specific tasks and it is how these tasks are allocated and the authority which they carry, which are explained by the organisational structure.

Outcome are the benefits of your project i.e. the tangible differences your project will have made.
Output are normally the results of your project in terms of the activities / services you have delivered.
   

P

 
Patrons add credibility to an organisation and are therefore useful in helping with fundraising and public relations. For example they may agree to:
  • Be named on letterheads or in annual reports;
  • Attend events;
  • Generate media coverage.

The qualities of a good patron include being:

  • Genuinely well known, relative to the aims and purpose of the organisation;
  • Available to visit the organisation or attend events;
  • Prepared to be briefed about the organisation and its cause, so that he or she can answer questions.
Payroll Giving is a tax effective way in which employees (and pensioners in an employer’s occupational pension scheme) can give to charity. Employees can authorise their employer to deduct donations from their pay. Because donations are deducted from pay before Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax is calculated, the employee gets tax relief at their top rate of tax.
Person Specification is a document setting out the skills, experience and qualities that are expected from a jobholder or trustee.
Policies lay down a series of principles and practices by which people working or volunteering for an organisation will abide. Common policy examples and subject areas include health and safety, equal opportunities, grievance and disciplinary and data protection.
Political Activity means any activity that is directed at:
  • furthering the interests of any political party; or
  • securing, or opposing, any change in the law or in the policy or decisions of central government or local authorities, whether in this country or abroad.
Powers of Trustees are outlined in the governing document of the charity and may be subject to legal restrictions. Trustees’ powers are invested in them in furtherance of the charitable purposes of the charity, i.e. what an organisation and / or its trustees are allowed to do.
Primary Purpose Trading is where a charity trades in the course of actually carrying out its primary purpose. Examples of this include:
  • Providing education services in return for course fees
  • Holding an art exhibition in a gallery in return for admission fees
  • Selling tickets for a theatrical production.
Procedures are an approved standard way of how to do something. They are invariably in writing because otherwise they will not be approved or standard, but will be soon forgotten and re-invented regularly. Procedures are a useful means of helping maintain quality in an organisation’s activities. They can be used for such areas of activity as governance, as well as in the delivery of services to beneficiaries. The writing and regular updating of procedures can consume a disproportionate amount of time in smaller organisations and the likely benefits should always be weighed against the cost in time and resources.
Professional Indemnity Insurance is recommended where a charity is providing a professional service (such as counselling) or any form of advice or information, especially where the issues are complex or potentially contentious. This protects the charity from liability if the service or information is provided negligently. The charity will be covered against claims that it is liable for loss, injury or damage sustained when that service was provided or as a result of following that advice or using that information.
Property means land, buildings, cash, investments or any other possession, which are owned by the charity.
Proposer a person who puts forward (proposes) a formal motion to be voted on at a meeting. It is usual to have a formal motion seconded (see seconder) prior to a vote being taken.
Public Liability Insurance may be appropriate for charities which own or occupy land or buildings. It offers protection:
  • Against claims from members of the public for injury, loss or damage incurred on the premises of the charity; and
  • Against claims arising under the Occupier's Liability Acts 1957 and 1984. These Acts place on the occupier of a property a duty of care in respect of visitors to and trespassers on their property.

Public liability insurance may also be appropriate for charities which carry on a business activity away from their own premises, arrange events attended by the public or supply goods to the public. In this way, the charity and its trustees, employees and volunteers would be indemnified against claims from members of the public for injury, loss or damage inflicted in the course of the activity, event or supply.

   

Q

 
Quorum A quorum is the minimum number of people entitled to attend and vote who must be present at a meeting to make valid decisions at that meeting. A quorum can be a fixed number or a percentage of those entitled to attend and vote. The number of people required to form a quorum is usually stated in the governing document.
   

R

 
Receipts and Payments receipts are money coming into the organisation, also known as income, payments are money going out of the organisation, also known as expenditure.
Registered Charity A Registered Charity is an organisation that is established for exclusively charitable purposes in accordance with the law of England and Wales and is registered with the Charity Commission.
Registered Office means the address of a company to which correspondence from Companies House will be sent. The registered office can be anywhere in England, Wales or Scotland. The Registered Office must always be an effective address for delivering documents to the company and to avoid delays it is important that all correspondence sent to this address is dealt with promptly. If a company changes its Registered Office address after incorporation, the new address must be notified to Companies House on Form AD01.
Registrar of Companies for England and Wales the Chief Executive of Companies House is Tim Moss. His office is based at Companies House in Cardiff. All limited companies in the UK are registered at Companies House, an Executive Agency of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). There are more than 1.8 million limited companies registered in Great Britain, and more than 300,000 new companies are incorporated each year.
Regulatory Documents are those which have to be produced in order to comply with the law. For example:
  • Annual Return and Accounts to the Charity Commission; and
  • Annual Return and Accounts to Companies House (if a limited company).
Remuneration Remuneration includes not only payment in money terms, but also benefits in kind.
Reserves Policy A Reserves Policy is a policy setting out:
  • The reasons why the charity needs reserves;
  • The level (or range) of reserves the trustees believe the charity needs;
  • What steps the charity is going to take to establish or maintain the reserves at the agreed level (or range); and
  • Arrangements for monitoring and reviewing the policy.
Resignations of Trustees are handled in the way set out in the governing document. If the governing document does not state anything about this, the trustees may be able to rely on the statutory powers in the Trustee Act 1925. Under these statutory powers, however, a trustee cannot resign without replacement, unless there will be at least two trustees or a trust corporation left after the resignation.

In some cases, where the title to land belonging to the charity is vested in a charity trustee or nominee who is resigning, the resignation should be effected by deed, or, where the resignation is being effected by a resolution of a meeting of the charity trustees, by a memorandum of the resolution which is executed as a deed. This will automatically transfer the title to the charity's land which was held by the charity trustee or nominee who is resigning into the names of the new charity trustees or nominees.

Resources means resources available to an organisation for increasing productivity, including funds, labour, equipment and raw materials.
Restricted Funds are funds that are subject to specific trusts or conditions imposed by the donor and binding on the trustees. The conditions may be stated expressly by the donor or maybe implied, as in the case of money sent in response to a special appeal. These funds represent unspent income or assets, the use of which is restricted. Permanent endowment is a particular form of restricted fund, in that the fund must be held permanently, although the assets in which it is held may change from time to time.
Risk Management means decision-making processes that are directed towards the effective management of potential opportunities and adverse effects. It involves risk evaluation and monitoring and will result in either mitigating the risk or applying effective controls.
Role Description is a document setting out the roles, responsibilities and tasks which the jobholder, volunteer or trustee, is expected to carry out.
Rules see Constitution.
   

S

 
Seconder a person who supports the formal motion put forward by the proposer, prior to it being voted on at a meeting.
Secretary means the company or charity Secretary or, if no such position exists, the person who calls, administers and minutes meetings. The Secretary is an officer of a charity and may be a trustee, employee or other agent of the charity.
Service Level Agreements may be entered into between charitable organisations and statutory agency funders, often over a number of years (3-5 years is common) for financial payments in respect of the services they provide.
A comprehensive service level agreement is an essential requirement for the provision or receipt of any important service. It quite simply defines the parameters for the delivery of that service, for the benefit of both parties. The quality of the agreement is therefore a matter of substantial importance. It must be complete, comprehensive and accurate in its coverage. Importantly, both parties must understand the contents and their obligations described within.
Short Term Contracts are contracts specifying a relatively short period of employment during which an employee will be expected to complete a job. A person on a contract of less than three months duration will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (pensioners, low-paid workers and, in some circumstances, pregnant employees, will also not be eligible under these complex rules). It is not permissible to continually retain an employee on a short-term contract to avoid liability for these entitlements.
Skills Audit is a tool to help a Trustee Board clarify why they have become trustees and what skills, knowledge or experience they can contribute to the Board. Getting the right mix of skills, experiences and qualities is a key ingredient in building an effective board of trustees.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that identifies five key points for objectives / goals / targets to be effective:
  • Specific - In the context of developing objectives, an observable action, behaviour or achievement is described which is also linked to a rate, number, percentage or frequency.
  • Measurable - A system, method or procedure has to exist which allows the tracking and recording of the behaviour or action upon which the objective is focused.
  • Achievable - The objectives should be capable of being reached by the people involved in them. The objectives need to be stretching and agreed by the parties involved.
  • Relevant - The objectives should be relevant in two ways: that the goal or target being set with the individual is something they can actually impact upon or change and, secondly, it is also important to the organisation.
  • Time Based - In setting an objective, there has to be a date (Day / Month / Year) for when the task has to be started (if it is ongoing) and/or completed (if it is short term or project related).
SOFA stands for Statement of Financial Activities. A charity's SOFA shows all the incoming resources becoming available during the year, all its expenditure for the year, and reconciles all the changes in its funds. The SOFA should account for all the funds of the charity and should be presented in columns representing the different types of funds.
SORP SORP means the Statement of Recommended Practice: "Accounting by Charities", published by the Charity Commission under the auspices of the Accounting Standards Board. This is aimed at improving the quality of financial reporting by charities and of particular significance to larger charities who require a financial audit (current level: annual turnover of over 250,000) (SORP last revised 2005).

SORP 2005 means the Statement of Recommended Practice: "Accounting and Reporting for Charities", published by the Charity Commission under the auspices of the Accounting Standards Board in March 2005. It supersedes the SORP 2000 and applies to accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2005.

Staff Sickness Insurance can be obtained to cover the costs of paying sick pay to employees.
Stakeholders Stakeholders are those who have an interest in, or expectation of your organisation, either as individuals or as representatives of a group. These might include service users / beneficiaries, members, staff, volunteers, trustees, statutory agencies, donors and so on.
Stakeholder Chart Stakeholder chart means a chart setting out the stakeholders of an organisation, as in the following example:

Standing Orders govern the conduct of the main meetings of the organisation, the rules for which will be found in the governing document.
Statutory Audit is an audit required or permitted by, and carried out in accordance with, relevant primary legislation and any associated regulations by a registered auditor who has to express his or her professional opinion on the accounts.
Strategy means a broad course of action with an identifiable outcome. This is achieved through a sequence of steps, which are subject to monitoring and modification, to accomplish desired goals and objectives.

Strategy should incorporate the organisation’s vision, mission and values statement, where appropriate. (NB. A ‘Strategic Plan’ is therefore a timetabled account of the strategy).
Sub-Committee can provide a valuable resource for Boards, bringing the focused attention of a select group to important organisational issues. However, a sub-committee is only as good as its mandate allows it to be and this mandate, or remit, is only as good as the Board that designs it. Delegating to sub-committees should never be used simply as a means of reducing Board business or shirking Board responsibility. Properly monitored and guided, sub-committees can be of great benefit to the Board, and through it, to the long-term goals of the organisation.
   

T

 
Tender is part of the procurement process where a funder / commissioner invites organisations to state what services or goods they will provide for a particular price. The description of the services / goods required will be specified in the tender document and the tender itself is the offer from the potential supplier of the services or goods. The funder / commissioner will then consider all the tenders submitted from potential suppliers and award the contract to one of them.
Terms of Reference  are the parameters within which a committee, sub-committee, steering group or working group operates. These contain:
  • Purpose
  • Objectives
  • Accountability
  • Roles and duties
  • Composition of committee i.e. members
  • Schedule of meetings
  • Secretariat details
  • Decision-making powers.
Threshold for audit means the income level at which the accounts of a charity should be audited. If the gross annual income exceeds 500,000 or assets exceed 2.8million in the relevant year or in either of the two years immediately preceding the relevant year, an audit is required.
Treasurer The Treasurer is an officer of a charity. The Treasurer has wider responsibilities than the other trustees; for example, ensuring that proper accounts are kept and helping to set financial and investment policies.
A Trust a charitable trust is governed by a trust deed, and can be established simply by an initial donor and appointing initial trustees. The trustees can subsequently raise further funds, provided all funds are applied for the specific charitable objects. This structure is mainly used by grant-making trusts, but a number of small charities running specific projects use the structure of a trust.

There is no wider membership, and usually the trustees appoint their own successors, although sometimes external organisations have the right to appoint trustees. Charitable trusts do not have a legal personality so, in law, any agreements must be made with the trustees collectively, and there is no limit on trustees’ liability.

Trustee Act 2000 gives trustees powers of investment (previously, these powers were restricted to explicit provisions made in the organisation’s governing document). Trustees can now manage funds more effectively with:
  • Wider powers of investment;
  • Powers for the appointment of nominees and custodians;
  • Powers to acquire land and to insure property; and
  • Safeguards including a duty to take proper advice in relation to investments and a statutory duty of care.
Trustee Liability may arise if trustees act illegally or in breach of trust, making them personally responsible for liabilities incurred by or on behalf of the charity, or for making good any loss to the charity. If trustees act prudently, lawfully and in accordance with their governing document then any liabilities they incur as trustees can be met out of the charity's resources.

Since trustees are acting collectively in administering a charity, they will usually all be responsible [the legal term is "jointly and severally"] to meet any liability to a third party which has been incurred by them or on their behalf.

Trustees of all types of charities can be held personally liable for:

  • Breach of trust under charity law
  • Spending the charity's money on an activity which is outside the charity's legal objects
  • Carrying out unpermitted political activity
  • Fraud
  • Serious negligence
  • Trustee receiving personal benefit
  • Acting as a charity trustee when disqualified
  • Acting as a company director when disqualified
  • Failure to comply with relevant statutory requirements in areas such as health and safety, trade descriptions and financial services
  • Failure to deduct employee's PAYE.

Trustees are not personally liable for wrongful acts of staff or agents, provided they have exercised proper care in their appointment and supervision.

Trustees means charity trustees. Charity trustees are the people who are responsible for the general control and management of the administration of the charity. Because of this they may be known as a "managing trustee". In the charity's governing document they may be called trustees, managing trustees, committee members, governors or directors, or they may be referred to by some other title.

You are a charity trustee if you are:

  • the trustee of a charitable trust;
  • the director of a charitable company; or
  • a member of the executive or management committee which is responsible for running an unincorporated charity.

The charity trustees are personally accountable for the proper management of the charity and its assets, and are required to act prudently at all times in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries.

TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 and 2006. These regulations, and amendments, implement the European Community Acquired Rights Directive 1977. TUPE is intended to protect the rights of employees when a transfer from one employer to another is made. It helps to ensure that employees do not lose out on salary, holiday rights and general terms and conditions.
   

U

 
Unfair Dismissal is where an employee is dismissed from his/her employment unfairly. Employees with more than one year's service are entitled to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal if he or she is dismissed in circumstances where:
  • There was not a fair reason;
  • Dismissal was not within the range of reasonable responses open to a reasonable employer in the circumstances;
  • A fair procedure was not followed in reaching the decision to dismiss.

There are certain exceptions to the requirement for one year's service, when dismissal is automatically unfair. These include an employee being dismissed because he or she:

  • Is a trade union member or takes part in such activities;
  • Is not a trade union member;
  • Is pregnant or is taking maternity or parental leave;
  • Takes action on health or safety grounds;
  • Demands a statutory employment right;
  • Refuses in certain circumstances to work on a Sunday;
  • Acts as an employee representative, or is a candidate for such a position;
  • Is a 'whistle-blower'.

Employees, who have been dismissed as a direct result of their gender, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, age or disability, may also bring a claim under the discrimination laws at any time as there is no qualifying period. The discriminatory treatment can include dismissal.

Unincorporated Association is a group of members who agree to be governed by a set of rules known as the constitution. This structure is used by a very wide range of voluntary organisations. In most associations, the members elect a committee who are empowered to make decisions on the use of funds, and hence the committee members are the charity trustees.

Unincorporated organisations do not have a legal personality so, in law, any agreements must be made with the trustees collectively, and there is no limit on trustees’ liability.

Unincorporated Charity may be either a trust or an unincorporated association. The organisation is not a company and is therefore ‘unincorporated’.
Users means the client group or service users of the organisation.
   

V

 
Values is the set of principles that an organisation seeks to apply, both in setting its mission and aims, and in its day-to-day operations.
Vice-Chairperson a person who will deputise for the Chairperson in his/her absence. He/she will usually be elected at the same time as the Chairperson and serve in the role for a specific period of time. On occasions the Chairperson might delegate some specific duties to the Vice-Chairperson.
Vision is the ideal towards which the organisation is working.
Volunteers Insurance covers liability arising from the acts or omissions of volunteers. Trustees are advised to regard volunteers as being employees for insurance purposes and to ensure that they are appropriately covered by the usual types of insurance, such as employers' liability and public liability insurance.

The policies will need to be checked to see how they define the term "volunteer" for the purposes of that policy and to determine whether your volunteers are covered. Accurate records of the volunteers working for the charity should also be kept.

Voluntary Organisations are independent organisations, which are established for purposes that add value to the community as a whole, or a significant section of the community, and which are not permitted by their constitution to make a profit for private distribution. Voluntary organisations do not include local government or other statutory authorities.
Voluntary Sector The Voluntary Sector means charities and voluntary organisations.
   

W

 
Whistle Blowing Policy A Whistle Blowing Policy is a policy that assists in identifying and dealing with malpractice in an organisation. The Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life (1996) recommended that a policy should be a clear statement that malpractice is taken seriously in the organisation and should identify the sorts of matters regarded as malpractice. The policy should include:
  • respect for the confidentiality of staff raising concerns if they wish, and the opportunity to raise concerns outside the line management structure;
  • penalties for making false and malicious allegations;
  • an indication of the proper way in which concerns may be raised outside the organisation if necessary; and
  • a recommendation that all staff should act responsibly to uphold the reputation of their organisation and maintain public confidence.
   

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2012 SAVO