Statement to members: guidance notes for trade unions and model statement

Rules for the timing, content, distribution and copying of the statement to members about the annual return, including a model statement.

Trade unions must issue a statement to members within eight weeks of submitting your annual return to the Certification Officer. You can use the Model Statement to Members (ODT, 5.82 KB) , but if you don’t, you must still include all the information specified in it.

The figures in the statement must be consistent with the contents of the annual return.

Distribute the statement to your members either by:

  • sending a copy to each individual member, or
  • using any other means which is the union’s usual practice for providing information of general interest to all members. For example, to include the statement in a publication sent to all members, post it on its website or email it to members.

The union may provide members with a copy of the full annual return in lieu of issuing a statement. However, you must still provide members with the irregularity statement below.

Irregularity statement

‘A member who is concerned that some irregularity may be occurring, or have occurred, in the conduct of the financial affairs of the union may take steps with a view to investigating further, obtaining clarification and, if necessary, securing regularisation of that conduct.

The member may raise any such concern with such one or more of the following as it seems appropriate to raise it with: the officials of the union, the trustees of the property of the union, the auditor or auditors of the union, the Certification Officer (who is an independent officer appointed by the Secretary of State) and the police.

Where a member believes that the financial affairs of the union have been or are being conducted in breach of the law or in breach of the rules of the union and contemplates bringing civil proceedings against it the union or responsible officials or trustees, he should consider obtaining independent legal advice.’

Submission to the Certification Officer

You must send a copy of the statement to the Certification Officer. If you’ve posted the statement on the union’s website, you must still send a copy to the Certification Office.

Where the union has issued a copy of its annual return to members together with a separate irregularity statement (in lieu of issuing a statement), it is not necessary to send the Certification Officer a copy of the return. However, you must provide written confirmation that the annual return has been issued to members and provide the Certification Officer with a copy of the irregularity statement.

Certification Officer contact details


Model Statement to Members

Model Statement to Members (ODT, 5.82 KB)

Published 12 September 2014
Last updated 7 April 2017 + show all updates
  1. The Certification Officer has moved, please note we have now a new address.

  2. First published.