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How the regulators work together

Published: 24/04/2018
Updated: 24/04/2018



  • Concerns and inquiries

  • Reporting by Auditors and Independent Examiners to the Regulators


Concerns and inquiries

Under a Memorandum of Understanding, OSCR and CCEW operate effective information sharing and joint working arrangements.

OSCR and CCEW work on a ‘lead regulator’ basis for cross-border charities to reduce the regulatory burden. This means that CCEW will be the lead regulator for cross-border charities and in general will take responsibility for dealing with concerns about cross-border charities, unless the concern relates to a Scottish specific matter that OSCR would be best placed to look at. There may be some circumstances where a joint inquiry is appropriate. 

This does not mean that cross-border charities only have to report to CCEW. All charities registered in Scotland must fully comply with the requirements of Scottish charity law. 

Both regulators have similar regimes in terms of when charities should report certain events and incidents to them. CCEW calls this ‘serious incident’ reporting, while OSCR refers to it as ‘notifiable events’. Cross border charities are required to report to CCEW, but do not need to also report the incident/event to OSCR. 

Reporting by Auditors and Independent Examiners to the Regulators

This is the statutory duty to report to the regulator placed on auditors and independent examiners of charity accounts where, in the course of their work, they identify:

  • a matter of material significance or
  • a matter which they believe should be reported to the regulator to assist in the fulfilment of the regulator’s functions.

OSCR, CCNI and CCEW have developed joint guidance on Matters of Material Significance reportable to UK charity regulators. In relation to cross-border charities, neither OSCR nor CCEW is considered to be the ‘lead regulator’ for this purpose and auditors/independent examiners should report to both regulators who will then determine which regulator takes forward the issues raised.

Memoranda of Understanding with other organisations

As well as the MOU that exists between OSCR and CCEW, OSCR has MOUs with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The MOU between OSCR and HMRC details specific information exchanges that take place on a quarterly basis and includes provisions on liaison at both policy and operational levels. For more information see our Memoranda of Understanding page.