Bullying within the voluntary sector


The Oxfam issues last year have given rise to some focus on elsewhere within the sector. Is this something that we need to be concerned about?

It seems that the ACMB is concerned that all should adopt revised Governance which allows a Trustee who is not accountable to the organisation, to be disciplined (and removed) by the organisation, without reference or relevance to charity business.

If this is the reality, what measures are available to Trustees to access support and independent mediation?

One assumes that the Uniform chain are not eligible for involvement in charity business, but as Regional Chairs are represented as members of the ACMB, and Wing Chairs appear to have designated tasks devolved from the ACMB, it looks very much as if the average Squadron Civcom is up the proverbial creak without a paddle.

It is worrying that there is pressured submission of Form 60 with the threat of sanctions or even loss of charitable status, when Form 60 itself has no status in Charity Law. So are Civcoms being subjected to bullying tactics? .


Questuon for lawyer, regional chair, HQAC or Air Cadet Council… if that still exists?

Doubt anyone on here can add answers other than conjecture and opinion to this query.

Very legalise question.


It’s hardly difficult to complete an F60 so why on earth would a Trustee resist doing so? In my wing 100% of units submit their F60 on time every year. The Charity Commission effectively allow us to self govern on the basis that we follow the policies and procedures set out in ACP 11 - this includes the disciplinary process. Trustees are hard to come by, so nobody (including HQAC) is seeking to remove any of our valued committee members without just cause.


Hmmm … not my experience.

I wouldn’t expect anyone to question the sensibility of the need for the ACO to have general info on the status of its squadrons etc. But where it is used as a device to coerce and (ultimately) suspend cadet activities, then I think you have to question the legality of that.

The problem is that as hard as it might be to accept, the ACO has no authority to behave in such a way as the F60 is not a necessary document for the organisation to maintain any level of charitable status. ACP-11 in its current format is badly flawed and has not been accepted by quite a number of squadrons nationwide (source ACMB minutes). Documentary evidence (FOI) shows that the Charity Commission is not overly comfortable with elements of it and legal opinion suggests that it would last long at all in a court.

Back on F60 … I seriously question the legality of the Admin Grant whereby £75 is returned for on-time submission. That is £75 of charitable money paid to the organisation for one purpose and then being redirected for another purpose - to bribe committees to do something they should do anyway.

The answer?

Stop all this excepted charity stuff (‘Excepted’ status was discontinued in 2009 anyway) and require squadrons to register with the Charity Commission. It really isn’t that much work, the returns to them must be timely and the info required by F60 would be a matter of public record.


got a link to that source?




In actual fact the figures provided in the ACMB minutes do not support 100% submission within each Region by 30 June 2018 - although that is not given in a Wing by Wing basis.

I am curious where the idea of self regulation arises - the Charity6 Commission us quite clearly installed as the Independent Regulator and the Law does not say anything about delegating that authority, so where dies it say there is authority to self regulate?

Now exempt charities are a different matter, where a Minister of the Government would be responsible but there would be separate legislation. The ACO has generally EXCEPTED charities and some Registered, but both regulated by the CC, and the CC has recently provided guidance to ensure each charity is independent and separate to the non-charity which in this case of the CO itself.
It is necessary to avoid conflicts and that would ensure Trustees can do their job according to the law without coercion and in the interests of the beneficiaries. (Coercion might be construed as bullying where someone not directly connected with the Charity, tries to enforce anything which is not consistent with the Law .

The Charity Commission themselves say you cannot self regulate simply as it removes the required separation between the management of charitable funds and the management of the beneficiaries - that is why Civcom should not be involved with Cadet supervision, because it increases scope for conflict of interest.

It is complex and the ACO is making it more so, hence the questions about access to impartiality.

The Charities Act is statute, ACP11 is not, simple as that.