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Charity Trustee Duties - Specific Duties

Published: 20/02/2017
Updated: 20/02/2017


2. You must comply with the 2005 Act (specific duties)

Specific Duties

These are things that charities must do. The charity trustees must make sure that these things are done. You can find more detail about the specific duties on our website.


Specific duty 2.1: Charity details on the Scottish Charity Register

You must give OSCR the information it needs for the Scottish Charity Register and make sure the information is up to date.

Specific duty 2.2: Making changes to your charity and telling OSCR

  • Charity trustees must tell OSCR if any of the charity’s details on the Scottish Charity Register change. 

  • Charity trustees need to ask OSCR for permission before making certain changes, such as:
- changing the charity’s name
- changing the charity’s purposes
- winding up the charity.
  • Charity trustees must make sure that the charity keeps accounting records. These should include a record of the money it receives and the money it spends as well as anything the charity owns like property, investments, money in the bank (assets) and any money the charity may owe to anyone else (liabilities).
  • Every year you must send us your:

    1. Annual accounts
    2. Trustees’ Annual Report
    3. External scrutiny report, and
    4. Online annual return.
  •  You must keep a copy of the accounting records for 6 years.

Specific duty 2.4: Fundraising

  • You must make sure that anyone who raises funds for your charity is allowed to do so.

  • There is specific information that your charity must provide to a donor before they agree to donate. This is explained in our guidance on Charities and Benevolent Fundraising.  

  • There are specific regulations that say what must be contained in a fundraising agreement between your charity and professional fundraisers.

  • You must make sure that any fundraising you carry out directly or that someone else carries out on the charity’s behalf complies with the Code of Fundraising Practice.


Specific duty 2.5: Providing information to the public

  • Charity trustees must make sure that the charity’s details, including the Scottish Charity Number (SC0[zero]xxxxx), are on all the charity’s formal communications, like letters, emails, invoices and websites. 

    It is also good practice to state you are regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). In addition to this, you could add the OSCR Registration logo to your documents. 
  • Charities must give a copy of their governing document or latest accounts to anyone that asks for them.


Breach of charity trustee duty: What happens when charity trustees break these rules 

  • If a charity trustee breaks these rules, OSCR may take action in line with our Inquiry Policy
  • There are lots of organisations that will support charity trustees who need help to carry out their duties or to understand what their duties are. See Sources of help and advice for details.