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Charity Community

Registering a charity: Upcoming CIO constitution changes

Author: Daniel Warner, Case Manager, Registration Division, Charity Commission

Published: 28 Nov 2023

As part of this series of articles, we have been covering common registration themes and issues. This article will update ICAEW Charity Community members about recent changes to our model CIO constitutions introduced by the Charities Act 2022.

As of 1 November 2023, the Commission has updated our model Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) constitutions.

These changes are explained in more detail on our website which includes guidance for trustees and applicants. They have been made to reflect changes being introduced by the Charities Act 2022 and other related changes.

The main change relates to the 'Amendment to Constitution' clause (which is clause 28(4) in our model CIO Constitutions). This currently contains the wording: “…and the/The amendment does not take effect until it has been recorded in the Register of Charities”. This wording must be deleted.

These changes apply to both the CIO Foundation and CIO Association models.

The key points are:

  • This change is being introduced by Phase 3 of the Act and is due to come into effect in early 2024. After this Phase comes into effect, we will not be able to register charities if their constitution includes the old wording.
  • The new wording can and should be used by organisations that are applying to register before Phase 3 of the Act comes into effect
  • If you have recently submitted a CIO registration application, there is no need to act. If changes are needed to the constitution, the Registration team will raise this with you when handling your application.
  • If you are about to submit an application and have a constitution drafted, please check if there are changes you need to make to the constitution before submitting your registration application
  • If you are using a model or template constitution provided by someone other than the Charity Commission (like the Charity Law Association), you will need to find the clause in your constitution that deals with amendments to the constitution and make any changes that are needed
  • When you submit your application, you will be asked to confirm that your constitution contains the correct ‘Amendment to Constitution’ wording
  • CIOs that are already registered do not need to amend their constitutions, but they may decide to make this change at a future date if they are making other changes to their constitution

Other changes which could be made to the CIO constitution

We have also made some other small changes to the CIO model constitutions. Trustees can decide if they want to make some or all of these other changes before submitting an application. Our guidance provides further information on this.

*The views expressed are the author's and not ICAEW's.