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Guidance on Trustees' Annual Reports

13 Dec 2017

The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has produced new guidance for Scottish charities about Trustees’ Annual Reports.

Throughout 2017 OSCR has been highlighting the importance of the Trustees’ Annual Report (TAR) - the narrative part of your annual report and accounts. 

Trustees' Annual Reports: Good practice and guidance is aimed at small and medium charities that usually prepare Receipts and Payments accounts. It lets charity trustees know their legal responsibilities when producing a TAR and how it can be used to tell the story of the charity.

The guidance tells trustees:

  • what a trustees’ annual report is
  • what the law says it must contain; and
  • how you can use it to benefit your charity.

OSCR Head of Professional Advice and Intelligence, Laura Anderson, said,

‘Charities come in all shapes and sizes and will have many different ways of communicating with the public.  Making sure that you are clearly explaining to your supporters, beneficiaries and the wider public what you do and what difference it is making can help you build the strong relationships you need to continually develop your organisation.

‘There is one tool that every charity can use to show how good they are at what they do. This is the Trustees’ Annual Report (TAR) - the narrative part of your annual report and accounts that will help make sense of the numbers.’

'We encourage anyone who needs support producing a TAR to read this guidance thoroughly. Following this guidance should allow you to create something that really tells your charity’s story.’


  • Read the TAR guidance here.
  • The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is the independent regulator and registrar of Scotland’s 24,000 charities and publishes the Scottish Charity Register at Our vision is for charities in which the public has confidence and which provide public benefit. More information about our work can be found in our Media Pack.
  • As part of our 'Meet the Regulator 2017' events, we presented a guide to effective narrative reporting. You can view a video of this here.
  • Any further media queries should be sent to for the attention of Ian Grieve / Judith Pogorzelec.