Celebrating 10 Years of OSCR

Annual Monitoring

It's about public confidence

We are required to monitor, encourage and facilitate charities' compliance with charity law and to increase public confidence in charities. Our Monitoring Policy has more information on how we do this.

There are around 1020 charities that are registered both with us and with the Charity Commission for England and Wales.  Cross border charities complete Section A of the online Annual Return plus one additional question about charitable activities in Scotland.

Have you signed up for our Online Services?  This makes the submission process easier and helps you to get it right.  92% of Scottish charities have already done so.  Find out more here.

 Your charity must provide us with:

  • a completed online Annual Return, issued by us to every charity; and
  • a signed copy of the latest set of annual accounts.

These must be sent to us within 9 months of your charity's financial year end date.  

Completing our forms is easy, but you may find it useful to have a copy of your founding document and your accounts to hand. Please contact us on 01382 220446 or email us at info@oscr.org.uk if you have any questions.

We check every set of accounts and forms and where these provide the correct figures for the Register we accept them, otherwise we request resubmission. Where there are deficiencies or errors, we will write to your charity to explain how your accounts should be prepared for the next year.  

In July 2014 we announced a consultation on our new programme of Targeted Regulation which will see changes in our approach from 2015.

Your charity must pass a two stage validation process.

1.  We check your Return forms to see that they have been fully completed. If not, we re-issue the Return form and ask you to complete the missing sections. If your accounts have not been included, we will request a copy from you.

2.  We check your accounts to see that they are full accounts, which must include the following:

  • a Trustees' Annual Report
  • the signature of one charity trustee on behalf of all your charity's trustees
  • your Scottish Charity number
  • comparative figures for the previous period.

Where we find any of the above missing, we issue a Qualified Pass letter explaining the non-compliance and requiring you to address this in future.

We check Supplementary Monitoring Return forms against 32 'exception triggers' that may indicate issues for us to examine further. A list of the exceptions is provided here.  

If you use OSCR Online to provide your information, you will be asked to provide explanations where any exceptions are triggered.

If you submit a paper Return form, we consider any exceptions along with your accounts to see whether an explanation is immediately available, or whether we need an explanation from you.

You can read more in section 4 of our updated Supplementary Monitoring Return guidance.

If you fail to submit the required documents on time, we will consider you to be in default of your Registration and your charity will be placed on the defaulting charities list. Your charity's Register entry will be highlighted in red to inform the public that your returns and accounts are overdue.

If you fail to provide us with the required forms within 12 months of the submission deadline, we may consider removing your charity from the Register.

If your charity is removed from the Register, you must still prepare and submit accounts to us for any outstanding charity assets held at the time of removal. Read our Former Charities page for more information.