Celebrating 10 Years of OSCR

Meeting the Charity Test: Guidance

Published: 20/08/2015
Updated: 20/08/2015

This guidance is about how we, the Scottish Charity Regulator, interpret and apply the charity test.

It explains what we take into consideration when deciding if an organisation can become, or continue to be, a charity in Scotland.

These are also the things that charity trustees should be thinking about to make sure their charity continues to comply with this part of Scottish Charity law.


Download the full PDF version of the Guidance or browse individual sections. 

Download a large print version here (point 18 font).



(a) the prevention or relief of poverty

(b) the advancement of education

(c) the advancement of religion

(d) the advancement of health

(e) the saving of lives

(f) the advancement of citizenship or community development

(g) the advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science

(h) the advancement of public participation in sport

(i) the provision of recreational facilities, or the organisation of recreational activities

(j) the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation

(k) the promotion of religious or racial harmony

(l) the promotion of equality and diversity

(m) the advancement of environmental protection or improvement

(n) the relief of those in need

(o) the advancement of animal welfare

(p) any other purpose that may reasonably be regarded as analogous to any of the preceding purposes.

Public benefit

Private benefit


Undue restrictions

Use of assets

Ministerial direction or control

Party political purposes

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