Skip to main content

Governance Standard 4 requires charities to take reasonable steps to be satisfied that their Responsible People (its board or committee members, or trustees) are not disqualified:

  • from managing a corporation under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the Corporations Act), or
  • from being a Responsible Person by the ACNC Commissioner within the previous 12 months.

If a charity is not satisfied, it must not appoint this person. If the person is already appointed, the charity must take reasonable steps to remove them as a Responsible Person.

The requirement to ensure that Responsible People are not disqualified from managing corporations applies even if your charity is not a company.

Purpose of this standard

The members of a charity’s governing body should ensure that it is well governed, responsibly managed and meeting its obligations under the law.

Together, these people share responsibility for a charity’s work. It is important that a charity’s Responsible People are suitable for the responsibility they hold to a charity and to the people it works with.

This standard makes sure that registered charities are not controlled by people who may pose a risk to the charity’s financial position or the pursuit of its charitable work.

For charities to operate effectively, it is important that their members, the people they serve, and the public have confidence in the suitability of their Responsible People.

Ways to meet this standard

Ensure Responsible People are not disqualified

Your charity will likely meet the first part of this standard if, for existing or potential Responsible People, it:

If your charity takes these above steps, it will likely meet this part of the standard. However, if it suspects that a Responsible Person is disqualified, it must take further steps to be satisfied that the person is not disqualified.

Removing unsuitable Responsible People

If any of your charity's Responsible People are listed on one of these registers or refuses to sign a declaration, or if your charity believes that they are disqualified, your charity must take reasonable steps to remove them.

You should begin by asking the person to resign. If they refuse, follow the process in your charity's governing document and any processes set under legislation that applies to your charity to remove them as a Responsible Person.

You may need to call a meeting of the board or committee or a general meeting of the members to remove them by a vote.

If your charity cannot remove the person (for example, if the members of a company limited by guarantee refuse to remove a director), please write to the ACNC and explain the situation. You may also consider whether it is necessary to involve another regulator – for example, the one that your charity was incorporated by.

If there are good reasons to keep the person, please contact us because the ACNC Commissioner may give your charity permission to do so.

If you need to appoint a new Responsible Person, see our tips on choosing a new board member.


Was this page useful?
Why not?