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Disqualified officers: What you should do if one your officers becomes disqualified under the Charities Act 2005
Updated February 2012
To qualify, an officer must not be:
- an undischarged bankrupt
- younger than 16
- convicted of a crime of dishonesty and sentenced within the last seven years
- disqualified from being an officer under the rules of their organisation
- disqualified by Charities Services under section 31(4) of the Charities Act 2005
- subject to a property order under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988, or have their property managed by a trustee corporation under section 32 of that Act (this relates to people who are not fully able to manage their affairs)
- prohibited from being a director or promoter of, or being concerned or taking part in the management of, an incorporated or unincorporated body under the Companies Act 1993, the Securities Act 1978, the Securities Markets Act 1988, or the Takeovers Act 1993
- a body corporate that is being wound up, in liquidation or receivership or subject to statutory management under the Corporations (Investigation and Management) Act 1989.
If any of the above disqualifying factors apply to an officer who has been appointed under an Act or by the Governor-General, Governor-General in Council, or a Minister of the Crown, that officer will automatically qualify as an officer.
Section 16(2) of the Charities Act sets out eight ‘disqualifying factors’ that prevent an individual or body corporate from being an officer of a charity registered with Charities Services. We have listed the disqualifying factors on the left of this page.
To be registered, charities must certify that each of their officers is qualified as an officer under the Charities Act 2005.
Sometimes officers become disqualified after they have been certified. For example, an officer may become bankrupt.
In this situation the charity must choose one of three options:
- Remove the officer from their role and notify Charities Services that the officer no longer qualifies and should be removed from the Register.
- Ask Charities Services to remove the charity from the Register.
- Ask for the charity to be allowed to remain on the Register with the disqualified officer in place.
What should you do if you choose option 1?
If you decide to remove the officer from their role, you must let us know by completing a Notification of change for a disqualified officer form – Form 8. You can send Form 8 to us by scanning in and attaching it to an email, or by posting it to us.
We will then update your officers’ list on the Register.
If you replace the officer with a new one you must complete an Officer Certification form – Form 2 to certify the new officer and send it to us with a Notification of changes form – Form 3.
You can complete and send Form 2 and Form 3 online or on paper. We will then update your officers’ list on the Register.
What should you do if you choose option 2?
If you believe it’s appropriate for your charity to remain on the Register - even though an officer has become disqualified - you must let us know by completing a Notification of change for a disqualified officer form – Form 8. The form has a space for you to tell us why you think it is appropriate and request our approval to stay on the Register.
You can send a completed Form 8 to us by scanning it and attaching it to an email, or by posting it.
We will consider your request and let you know our decision in writing. If we can’t agree to it then you must choose option 1 or option 3.
What should you do if you choose option 3?
Your charity will not continue to qualify for registration with a disqualified officer. If options 1 and 2 are not appropriate for your charity your only option is to remove the charity from the Register.
Our information sheet Deregistration: Removing charities from the Charities Register explains how to take your charity off the Register. We suggest you read the information sheet carefully so that you fully understand the implications of deregistration. For example, how it will affect your charity’s tax exemptions.
- Charities must certify that each of their officers is qualified as an officer.
- Sometimes officers become disqualified after they have been certified.
- Charities will not continue to qualify for registration with a disqualified officer.
- Charities can choose one of three options if an officer is disqualified.
- If a charity chooses to remove a disqualified officer from their role, they must let us know by completing a Notification of change for a disqualified officer form – Form 8.
Helpful tip - How can you be sure your officers still qualify?
We suggest that you regularly ask them to confirm that they are still qualified to be officers. For example, you could do this each year prior to your Annual General Meeting.
Related information sheets
- Officer certification form – Form 2
- Notification of changes – Form 3
- Notification of change for a disqualified officer – Form 8