Excepted charity or registered charity?

Hi all,

Our Sqn is still an excepted charity but this is not recognised by a lot of places such as Amazon Smile and other companies that support charities.

I have seen there are a few Sqn’s out there that have become registered charities outright.

What are the benefits of a registered charity over remaining as an excepted charity?


Well the immediate benefits are access to those things you’ve mentioned and grants/donations that require you to be a registered charity.

The downsides will be the reporting procedures and processes needing an enhanced level of scrutiny and checking than our “return the accounts to the wing”.

Yeah, as @pEp says. The downside is you’d have to submit your accounts directly to the Charity Commission. Which, in theory, shouldn’t really be a downside at all if all your accounting / finance control procedures are well in order.

I think that in my mind the direct report to the CC would be a small price to pay to ease the grant application processes, which as you say, often don’t recognised excepted charities as they are a very old construct now.

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Anyone on here actually have first hand experience of getting a Sqn registered as a charity.


  1. Work required to do so.
  2. HQAC response if you do so. (I didnt even know we were allowed to!)
  3. Ongoing work required each year.


The work required will mirror what we do anyway (or should do). You need to produce comprehensive accounts for the year if your income is over a certain amount, these need to be verified by an external person who is qualified to do so and ratified by the trustees.

The gov.uk website has more info, but in essence it shouldn’t more too much more onerous than it is currently.

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There is no basic difference between being a Registered Charity and an Excepted, the Law applies equally to both. The Excepted status means the regulator does not require annual submission of accounts - in fact the Law does not even require the Form 6o return to Wing.

Outside of England & Wales ALL Charities have to be registered. In E&W an excepted charity is required to register when income exceeds £100k p.a. but TRUSTEES can decide to register where income exceeds £5k p.a.

The benefits are that you gain a charity number, which is increasingly necessary to access grants etc. Without registration there is no individua identity, as the number used against Excepted status is not issued by the Charity Commission. A point of interest is that after 31 January 2009 the Charity Commission lost the authority to approve excepted status.

Whether you decide to register has nothing whatsoever to do with HQAC - because the Charity is not owned by the RAFAC and it is an entirely Trustee based decision, who would be acting in the interests of the beneficiaries of that Charity - so in effect this means that HQAC cannot stop you from, registering.

There is on line guidance which clearly sets out the process, the only thing is that the Charity needs to be properly constituted and actually have a suitable and legal constitution - again the Charity Commission can provide guidance in that area.

Be aware that ACP10 and ACP11 are to be reviewed again imminently, and there has been nothing available since 2015 which confirms whether either document is actually compliant with Charity Law.

So basically everything I’ve already said, but with your anti organisation rhetoric? Thanks for stopping by :upside_down_face:


Don’t feed the troll

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Welcome back.

Nobody said it had anything to do with them?

To be fair, someone did mention it…

I was not aware that I had written to you, but will admit that I did not read your contribution , it was then perhaps inevitable that you might have got something right.

Another element to Registration, is that details are then within the public domain, and the Charity Commission say that potential donors visit their on-line charity information. But of course it then needs proper charity management to handle or develop public interest.

However I think you will be the first to agree that there is a bias within this forum which does not necessarily agree with the way things should work. So I was simply trying to point out that it is the Civcom which holds the authority under Charity Law, and that without them as a legal entity, you will operate solely within what exchequer funding provides.

Access to grants has been flagged, as basically you cannot rely on the connection with RAFAC for eligibility, because it is not a recognised charitable entity because it is funded by the MOD.

So you need the Civcom to make decision which is why you really do need to work with them, however alien that might seem to be.

And what gives you the idea about anti-organisation rhetoric? The RAFAC is a fine youth organisation, and always has been and it always a pleasure to how cadets enjoy the experience.

Think a few squadrons are on smile somehow eg 62 Glasgow - worth asking them?

Scotland have different rules regarding charities

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Unless you are a Scottish squadron then Don’t ask a Scottish squadron for guidance regarding charity regs. I have seen some by if the posts relating to charity law etc and in Scotland we go by OSCR and it is different.