Charity Commission Operational Guidance
Operational Guidance (we call them OGs) covers our policy and practice based on charity law. OGs are written for our staff to help them carry out their work in a fair and consistent way. They are designed to make the legal background to our policy clearer and for staff to access more easily the information to help them as they take forward a case. Because we are committed to conducting our work as openly as possible, we publish OGs on our website as well as internally.
If you are a trustee looking for guidance on the different aspects of managing your charity, you might prefer to look at the range of guidance written with you in mind - click here to link to the list of guidance for trustees.
How to find Operational Guidance and navigating around them
There is a numerical and A - Z (alphabetical) list of topics covered in OGs. For more information click on the links below.
Finding your way around
The following explains the structure of OGs, the symbols you might see and what they mean for our staff, and how to move around the OGs and find the text you are looking for.
Clicking on a link in either the alphabetical index or the numerical list of OGs will take you straight to the front page of an OG. You'll find a statement of our policy on that topic and a summary or what's covered in that particular OG.
- Tabs – the titles of the tabs are self explanatory. Click on a tab to take you straight to the area of information you want. Sometimes a tab is empty - this may simply be because there is no information to put in the section - or there may be a link to a letter or form in a different format (Word or pdf, for example).
- Menus – in some tabs you'll see a menu down the side of the page. This gives the titles of the main sections within that tab. Clicking on one of the titles will take you straight to the title/section/subsection of that page.
- OG contents (Site map) – clicking on the OG Contents tab reveals a site map to that OG. Links in the contents take you to the appropriate title/section/subsection of the OG.
- Links – these are shown in blue font and refer to information elsewhere. Links taking you outside the OG will usually open in a new window.
- Top of page – use this if you want to go back to the top of the page to see the tabs or to see the side bar menus again.
- Browser 'back' button - this will return you to the previous page you were viewing, not back to the last place you were in an OG (this could be the front page of the last OG you looked at, or the index or numerical list, for example). Better to use the tabs, links and 'back to the top' links to navigate within an OG. When moving from one tab to another, however, you will be taken to the last place you visited in the tab.
- Back to the OG web home page - the link at the top left corner of an OG takes you back to the OG home page in the same window. Using the link at the foot of an OG opens the home page in a new window.
Symbols in an OG highlight particular points in the text or direct staff to seek further advice or look elsewhere for information – the symbols you will most frequently find will include:
The calculator means 'seek advice from an accountant'.
The legal briefcase means 'seek advice from a lawyer'.
Staff might need to ask a mentor or senior officer for help.
The key indicates a summary of the key points of a policy or procedure.
The binoculars indicate staff should look elsewhere for this information – there will usually be a link to another OG, our website or another website.
The post-it note is to remind staff that they might be able to offer the information listed as advice to trustees.
The question mark may indicate a series of questions that will help staff make a decision.
A very small amount of information has to be treated as confidential. For example, some details about law enforcement or where making information public could affect how justice is administered. We have removed this information when we publish on the website - this is in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.