National exemption order scheme

There are currently 45 national exemption order holders relating to house-to-house collections.


National exemption order (NEO) holders are exempted under section 3(1) of the House to House Collections Act 1939 from having to apply for individual collection licences from local authorities.

Under current law, the Minister for the Cabinet Office is responsible for the national exemption order scheme for house-to-house collections.

The operational guidance provides details on:

  • provisions of the legislation governing the national exemption order scheme
  • running of the scheme by Cabinet Office officials
  • eligibility criteria
  • application process
  • legal requirements as a NEO holder and of those acting under its authority


Organisations can appeal to the Minister for the Cabinet Office if a local authority refuses them a licence to hold a house-to-house collection or if they revoke such a licence. The Cabinet Office processes these appeals.

In the case of street collections, there is currently no equivalent right of appeal. The Charities Act 2006 contains provision for a new licensing scheme for public charitable collections, but these provisions are not yet in force.