Telephone fundraisers exempted by regulator from TPS Assured Certification

The Fundraising Regulator has updated the fundraising code to stress the need for agencies to comply with the Telephone Preference Service

Telephone fundraisers will no longer have to hold Telephone Preference Service Assured Certification, the Fundraising Regulator has said.

The regulator has updated the Code of Fundraising Practice to stress the need for organisations that carry out telephone fundraising to comply with the TPS, which allows people to opt out of receiving marketing phone calls.

At the same time, however, the regulator has removed from the code the requirement for agencies to be certified as compliant.

The new rules say organisations must always check telephone numbers against the TPS before making calls and not make any direct marketing calls to any registered number unless the person has told the organisation they consent.

It also says marketing calls must not be made under the guise of an administrative call.

The regulator has also published a guide to help fundraising organisations ensure they are compliant.

Stephen Service, policy manager at the Fundraising Regulator, said the rule change had come about as a result of feedback from telephone agencies and charities since the certification requirement was introduced in 2015.

"It’s clear that obtaining TPS assured certification has been a useful and appropriate step for some organisations, but has proven disproportionately burdensome for others," he said.

"The key point is that there is no one-size-fits-all where monitoring is concerned. Charities and agencies need to be able to evidence their compliance with TPS and take a risk-based approach to how they audit their practices, based on the scale of their fundraising campaigns and the methods used."

Tamsin Mitchell, compliance manager for telephone fundraising at the Institute of Fundraising, said: "This is a very welcome change to the code and makes it clear that all organisations carrying out telephone fundraising must ensure and evidence their compliance with the legal obligations regarding the TPS.

"The change also gives organisations the flexibility to decide how they will record and demonstrate their compliance. This sensible and practical approach by the Fundraising Regulator should remove any previously held concerns or difficulties in complying with both the code and General Data Protection Regulation."

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