The purpose of the Charity Commission is to ensure that charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
Building on the progress we have made over the past 3 years, our business plan sets out the detailed steps we will take to achieve our goal, strategy and statutory targets in 2022-23. We can now plan for the future with confidence, focusing on longer-term changes that will ultimately have a bigger impact; and 3 key changes are embedded in the actions set out in this plan.
We want to make better use of the data and information we hold, so that we can help the public make informed choices about charities; enable us to identify risks in charities earlier; and provide our stakeholders with better visibility into the scale and scope of the sector.
This business plan also sets out the next steps on our journey to fundamentally change the way we communicate with charities. These plans include our ambition for a new online portal, which over time will be tailored to the specific needs of trustees, aimed at improving their experiences of engaging with us and better receiving the support they need to run their charities. .
Our ability to achieve our ambitions rests on our greatest resource, our people. We will therefore continue to invest in the training and development of our people, ensuring that we have built the skills and capabilities we need to deliver on our priorities.
We have structured our planned work for the coming year around 3 priorities:
- we will improve our ability to regulate efficiently, effectively and robustly
- we will better engage with trustees, helping them run their charities well
- we will strengthen our organization to guarantee the achievement of our ambition
Priority 1: We will improve our ability to regulate efficiently, effectively and robustly
We have made significant improvements in the way we work, but we know that we must continue to adapt and improve the way we regulate.
We will continue to place the public interest at the center of our approach to regulating charities. We will further strengthen our already robust approach, making it clear where things went wrong and why it matters.
We will strive to increase the number of wrongdoings we uncover proactively, using our increasingly sophisticated approach to intelligence gathering and data analysis.
As Registrar of Charities, we will also develop our unique position as the leading source of key information on charities in England and Wales.
To achieve this, we will seek to expand the data we hold on charities and improve our ability to analyze this data. We will implement changes to the classifications of charities and launch a consultation on the proposed changes to the annual report. We will continue to contribute to the SORP review and further explore the online filing of accounts.
At the same time, we will develop the skills of our staff to ensure that they feel confident to deliver case treatment results quickly and robustly and to support them with systems and tools that allow them to identify and treat the damage.
We will strengthen the quality of our case handling, empowering managers and leaders to ensure consistency of approach, high standards and continuous improvement in our case handling.
We will begin to automate our processes, where possible, making information more easily accessible and processes more fluid. These changes will result in a reduction in initial contact, repeat and subsequent inquiries on the same issue. This will free up capacity for more complex cases with charities that need support or may be responsible for wrongdoing and harm.
- implement the Charities Act 2022 as it comes into force, changing our guidance, online services and regulatory approach
- review our requirements for collecting charitable data, including where and how such data is best collected
- improve the way charities are classified to support a more detailed understanding of the type of work done by charities
- explore other opportunities to automate our processes
- complete the roll-out of the Commission Academy, providing advanced learning, training and knowledge to our staff
- embed a case handling quality assurance framework, to ensure high standards across all client-facing teams
Priority 2: Better interact with trustees to help them manage their charities well
Over the next three years, we will fundamentally change the way we communicate with charities. We will strive to move away from communicating only with organizations to proactively engaging with individual administrators.
We will seek a more personalized relationship with trustees, tailoring our communications and enabling trustees to share appropriate and timely information with us about themselves and their charities. In doing so, we will together strengthen compliance with regulatory requirements and increase transparency, thereby improving the sector’s accountability to the public.
In 2022-23, we will also communicate with directors through sustained and targeted campaigns with messaging that will help them understand their responsibilities and engage them with our growing suite of actionable tips.
We will continue to modernize our guidelines to ensure directors are supported to understand their responsibilities and ultimately help them improve the governance of their charities and increase their impact on society.
Although we have a permanent office in Wales, speak at many events, work closely with representative bodies and engage positively with the Welsh Government and Senedd members on issues of common importance, we want to do more in Wales in the coming year.
- deliver the first phase of our portal to begin reshaping our relationship with trustees
- improve website journeys for all users so they can navigate and find what they need
- modernize and rationalize our external management
- deliver a campaign program to help directors understand their responsibilities and help the public make safe and informed choices
- strengthen our visibility and our commitment in Wales
Priority 3 – we will strengthen our organization to ensure we deliver on our ambition
In the coming year, we will begin to realize our vision for the future of our workforce. We will make changes to how we work, how we support and develop our people, and what we want and need to do with the culture of the Commission.
Implementing a range of digital, data and technology changes will be key to achieving the priorities of this plan. Through our IT roadmap, we will continue to deliver enhanced systems or create new systems and tools to benefit our employees and those who engage with us.
- order, in accordance with best practices, an external review of our governance arrangements
- develop regulatory impact metrics to better understand the impact we have on the public and the charitable sector
- further strengthen our organizational and cultural identity
- implement a new complaints policy and process to improve quality and continuous learning
- make improvements to IT and digital services in line with the IT roadmap
Monitoring our performance
We will report on performance against our business plan in our annual report for this fiscal year. We will also continue to track our performance against our strategic impact measures and client service standards, to ensure that the public can see how, each year, the Commission achieves its strategic and operational goals.