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CPD resources: supporting charity trustees

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 11 Jan 2024

Accountants sharing their expertise as charity trustees need to understand the latest developments in charity accounting. Find out more about ICAEW’s range of freely accessible CPD resources, including articles, webinars and online training.

Charity trustees play a vital role in the governance and sustainability of their organisations, so staying up to date with what is happening in charity accounting is important.

With more than 29,000 ICAEW members worldwide undertaking regular voluntary roles in the third sector in 2023, ICAEW recognises the need for specialist knowledge and support in this area.

Kristina Kopic, ICAEW’s Head of Charity and Voluntary Sector, explains: “Alongside understanding your duties and legal responsibilities as a charity trustee, it is important to keep abreast of changes to reporting requirements, legal developments and guidance from regulators.”

Kopic leads a team that is dedicated to producing regular guidance and support for practitioners volunteering, and working, in the third sector. Alongside regular newsletters and webinars from ICAEW’s Charity Community, the institute publishes guidance and free online training options for trustees.

Online training - getting started

For those looking for an overview of the key issues, ICAEW has recently launched a free on-demand CPD course for charity trustees.

The hour-long training starts by outlining the fundamentals of being a charity trustee. Charity specialist Sally Knight describes the different types of charitable organisation and how they are regulated. She then outlines the six main duties of a charity trustee, which includes effective decision-making, managing resources responsibly, maintaining accountability and risk management.

The second part of the video covers current and upcoming developments that might impact charity trustees. Knight offers insights into UK GAAP for charities; the implementation of the Charities Act 2022; the Fundraising Regulator; and guidance from the Charity Commission.

The course offers volunteers covered by the revised CPD Regulations a way to meet their new requirement of completing charity-related training each CPD year, but it is relevant for all charity trustees.

The course will be updated every year to reflect the latest developments in the sector and can be verified using ICAEW’s new AddCPD tool and online CPD record.

Online training – a deeper dive

For those looking to expand their understanding of charity trustees’ role and responsibilities, then ICAEW's Trustee Training Modules offers a more comprehensive CPD option.

Shaped with experts from the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Centre for Charity Effectiveness, this training covers: legal and financial responsibilities; board dynamics; risk management; planning for success; and managing relationships.

Charity Conference on demand

Sharing the knowledge and inspiration to succeed with vital accounting, governance and taxation updates affecting the charity sector. This virtual annual conference offers up to 7.5 hours of verifiable CPD.

Image for Charity Community page

The six elearning modules are freely available and combine short video introductions, with key learning materials, case studies and reflective exercises. Quizzes and other interactive elements ensure the online training is engaging, as well as informative.

The course is self-directed, offering trainees the flexibility to decide when they study and how much time to spend on each module.

Staying in the know

Charity trustees looking for regular CPD opportunities should consider joining ICAEW’s Charity Community, which relaunched 12 months ago and is now free.

Trustees can sign up to receive the community newsletter, which offers sector updates, such as: what the Autumn Statement meant for charities; and how the cost-of-living crisis is fuelling charity fraud risks.

Those looking for information on a particular topic or development can browse the community’s library of webinar recordings for expert guidance.

In recent months, the community has hosted webinars discussing risk management as a charitable trustee, the potential opportunities offered to charities by generative AI and the lessons trustees can learn from internal audit.

Meanwhile, webinars planned for this year include the current banking challenges facing charities and insights from The Wildlife Trusts on how technology can help combat climate change.

The community also hosts a virtual conference each year, bringing together expert speakers to discuss the latest developments in the sector across two days. This year’s event is being held on 18 and 19 January and opens with Helen Stephenson CBE, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, sharing the regulators priorities for 2024.

Alongside technical updates on accounting and tax, the conference includes sessions discussing how charities can ensure their resilience in challenging times; demystifying AI for charities; and how to guide decision-making in the face of ethical dilemmas.

There’s still time to register to attend the conference, with discounted rates available for ICAEW members and Charity Community members.

Further support

ICAEW Community
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Charity Community

Supporting finance professionals in their paid and voluntary roles in or with the charity and voluntary sector. Membership is free and open to everyone, including non-ICAEW members.

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Online training
Building blocks
Trustee training module

Six online training modules covering the duties, obligations, operational and strategic considerations of trustees.

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Professional development
Charity Trustees CPD Course

To support charity trustees meet their new CPD requirements ICAEW has created an hour-long training course.

Start the course Understand your CPD requirements