Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations might become a CIO

Survey of members has revealed strong support for the idea of becoming a charitable incorporated organisation, says board member Carole Patrick

Carole Patrick
Carole Patrick

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations could become a charitable incorporated organisation.

The umbrella body is consulting its members on whether or not to become a Scottish CIO, the legal form that allows charities to enter into contracts as corporate entities, with limited liability for charity trustees in most cases.

SCIOs do not need to register with Companies House and are not subject to company law. They are registered with and regulated by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Carole Patrick, an SCVO board member, said it was agreed at the SCVO’s annual general meeting in November that the its governance and company structure should be renewed. She said it had launched a survey in April this year to gather the views of members.

"There has been strong support in the survey for us to become a SCIO," she said. "The main reason is that the SCVO campaigned for the SCIO format in the first place and this would be a good way to show our support."

She said changing the organisation into an SCIO could reduce the bureaucracy at the organisation. "At the moment we deal with the OSCR and Companies House," she said. "Although this is not an enormous burden for us, this change would mean we would just deal with the OSCR."

Patrick said the SCVO was holding a workshop for members next week, where recommendations on changing the organisation’s legal form and other potential changes, such as the introduction of direct elections to the management board, would be finalised.

She said the recommendations would then be discussed by the management board.

SCIO registration opened to new organisations in April 2011 and to existing charities in January 2012. The equivalent form in England opened for applications to some existing charities in December.

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