Please click here to read OSCR’s COVID-19 Guidance for Charities


Published: 22/01/2020
Updated: 22/01/2020


OSCR’s vision is of charities that you can trust, and that provide public benefit.

We support this vision in all of our work. We have a duty to consider risk to charities, encourage compliance, identify and investigate potential wrongdoing, and respond appropriately.

Charities trustees are the people who have the general control and management of the administration of a charity. They are responsible for complying with the charity trustee duties set out in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. In most cases charity trustees do this very well, but when something goes wrong, and they have not addressed the situation effectively, it may be necessary for OSCR to intervene. Sometimes this means that we will use our legal powers to carry out inquiries into a charity. This guidance explains how we go about this area of our work.

What this guidance covers

  • Our role as a regulator
  • The sources of concerns
  • How we assess risks to charities
  • What to expect if you raise a concern about a charity
  • Compliance activity – working with charities
  • Formal inquiries – what to expect
  • The end of an inquiry
  • How we will communicate about inquiries
  • How we use the information obtained in an inquiry.

Who is this guidance for?

  • the general public
  • people who have a concern about a charity
  • charity trustees
  • funders
  • the media.

How to use the Guidance

In this guidance, we explain the options available to OSCR when we become aware of a concern about a charity, or when we identify that something is not operating as it should. The guidance is split into sections to help you find the information most relevant to you, whether you are a person or organisation who has a concern about a charity, or a charity that is the subject of a concern.