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Trustees' Duties and Responsibilities

Trustees' Duties and Responsibilities

A trustee must:

• act in good faith, act in the best interests of the charity, exercise independent judgment, and ensure that their decisions are unaffected by their personal interests or views; 

• disclose any conflict of interest (both conflict between their duties to the charity and personal interests, and also between their duties to the charity and to any other organisation);

• not accept a direct or indirect benefit, advantage, or gain from being a trustee (except if authorised by the charity’s constitution or the Charity Commission);

• ensure that the charity only acts in accordance with its constitution, charity law, company law (if the charity is a company), and all other applicable laws and regulations;

• ensure that the charity acts in accordance with the proper requirements of the Charity Commission and of any other relevant regulatory authority;

• ensure charity money is not lost, is invested prudently, the charity does not refuse to accept money or property donated to it, and it does not pay money to anyone unless bound to do so or it advances the charity’s purposes;

• ensure that where a charity receives any money for a specific purpose, it is only used for that purpose;

• ensure that other charity assets (for example land/buildings), are protected, maintained, and insured;

• ensure that the charity’s reputation, name, logo and other intellectual property are safeguarded;

• ensure that the charity correctly manages and fulfils all of its obligations to staff;

• be aware of the charity’s assets and resources;

• implement, and monitor, proper financial procedures;

• ensure that the charity remains solvent, that its assets and funds are used wisely and that it does not undertake any activities which could put its assets or reputation at undue risk;

• act with all due reasonable care and skill, and must use any knowledge or skill the trustee has or holds him/herself out as having; and

• act together with all other trustees as a group.

For more detail about trustees’ duties, responsibilities and liabilities, see our Guidance Note on Charity Trustees here.

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