Statutory inquiries into charities: guidance for charities (CC46)

Find out what happens when the Charity Commission opens an inquiry into a charity.

Applies to England and Wales



The Commission identifies and investigates apparent misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of charities, and works to resolve issues of concern.

It may open an inquiry where the regulatory issues are serious and either: it needs to exercise powers only available in inquiry; there is evidence of misconduct or mismanagement, or a risk to charity property; or there is otherwise a need to safeguard public trust and confidence in a charity or charities.

The purpose of an inquiry is to establish the facts. It should not in itself be seen as a determination by the regulator of wrong doing in a charity, except where it may have to immediately use its legal powers.

The ultimate aim is to stop abuse, ensure trustees comply with the law and put a charity back on a secure footing for the future.

This is a guide to help charities under inquiry and their advisers understand the process, their rights and what the Commission expects of them.

Published 1 December 2013
Last updated 7 March 2024 + show all updates
  1. Guidance updated to reflect changes introduced by the Charities Act 2022.

  2. First published.