Commission determined to cut regulation by assessing risks

The Charity Commission is looking at ways of tailoring the regulation of charities according to the risks they face, it was revealed at the regulator's first open board meeting last week.

Rosie Chapman, the commission's director of policy and strategy, said a report was being prepared for new chief executive Andrew Hind that would examine the different risks faced by charities and the level of regulation appropriate for them.

"We are looking at whether we can take a less regulatory stance, and instead concentrate on published guidance," Chapman told Third Sector.

She said this would add "another level of sophistication" to the commission's regulatory approach. But she insisted it was better regulation rather than deregulation.

Among the different regulatory techniques the commission may employ are encouraging self-regulation, publishing information on performance, naming and shaming charities or giving out awards, review visits and enforcement actions such as investigations. The kind of regulation could depend on charitable purpose, constitutional form, types of funding and vulnerability of the charity's beneficiaries.

Chapman also told the meeting that the commission planned to go live with the new Standard Information Return - a compulsory summary of the aims and achievements of charities with income of more than £1m - in January.

She added it was likely that charities compelled to submit the return would not have to submit an annual return to the commission as well. But the regulator is checking the feasibility of this.

Director of resources Nick Allaway said that he had received more than 200 applications for the vacant fifth commissioner post.

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