The new legal identity of Charitable Incorporated Organisation has finally arrived, marked by the Charity Commission reporting (September 2013) that 1,000 CIOs have been registered in England and Wales. Charities that want to enter into contracts or employ staff are taking advantage of a structure that can limit trustees’ liability, but not require them to register with Companies House. Organisations that would have previously adopted the legal identity of charitable companies can now choose to be wholly regulated by the Charity Commission. Inevitably, the introduction of this new structure has taken time, will continue to take more time to roll out (details below), and even this timetable may extend. But here is our brief guide to registering as a CIO – and the preparations to make now if your organisation is keen to convert to a CIO later.
Registering as a CIO for the first time
The important thing to remember when converting to a CIO is you’re not really changing the structure – instead you’re creating a new organisation in the structure you want, transferring your assets, and dissolving the old structure. With this in mind, your first step must be to check that your current constitution grants the trustees two vital powers: the power to dissolve and the power to transfer assets to an organisation with similar or identical charitable purposes. If your constitution does not grant this, check the Charity Commission procedures for altering the constitution.


You may also need to confirm that any assets (especially endowments) are free from restrictions in how they are kept, transferred or used.
You will need to confirm that the name of your organisation is acceptable for use, and that there are no other CIOs or companies with the same name. To prepare the CIO constitution, choose the right model from the Charity Commission website (either foundation or association, depending on your membership) and add the same purposes as your organisation’s previous constitution. CIO constitutions have various legal requirements, so the Charity Commission would always recommend adopting a model constitution. Your membership, if you have members, will then be required to approve the new constitution before you can notify the Charity Commission.
So you’re already incorporated . . . but you want to be a CIO?
It will be some time before previously incorporated organisations can convert to CIOs. The current timetable guarantees at least another year, but the passing of the legislation may take longer. If your organisation is already a community interest company, a company limited by guarantee or shares, a co-operative or provident society, check that your governing document (Memorandum and Articles, or Registered Rules) allows the dissolution of the organisation and the transfer of assets to a new structure. If you’re restricted to a named asset-locked body, it’s unfortunately a matter of waiting for 2015.
Choosing a legal structure for your organisation is an important and complicated decision. Whilst C3SC provides information and support to organisations seeking to incorporate, we would always recommend you research the options and various governing documents thoroughly, and, if necessary, obtain professional advice from a charity solicitor.


Written by Katie Mallam, Third Sector Officer, September 2013

Further support

Retail Works is the pre-employment programme designed to guarantee retailers a national standard of interviewee when recruiting. Retail Works helps learners, with no experience of retail, to learn suitable skills to gain employment in the sector.

The training programme was designed in consultation with national, SME and independent retailers and specialist training organisations from the National Skills Academy for Retail network. Retail Works is supported by Jobcentre Plus and the Skills Funding Agency, as the retail sector routeway programme.

It is a modular 22-hour training programme which encompasses the key entry requirements for a learner joining the retail sector. The programme gives suitable learners the knowledge and skills to confidently apply for jobs and complete the interview and assessment process. It helps to improve retention and sustainability through the induction process.    

Learners that have completed the Retail Works programme are recognised by the sector to have met the pre-employment skills standard. A certificate of completion is available to each learner successfully completing the programme.


Who is it aimed at?

The programme is flexible enough to meet the needs of many learner groups including: school learners, NEETs, 18-24 year olds, the long term unemployed, returners to work, lone parents and those seeking a change in career.


Cardiff and Vale College can deliver the course for a £200 flat rate (up to 12 delegates) + £15 per workbook for each delegate. This works out at just under £32 per person. 


To find out more
Contact: Fiona Tierney/Lisa Edwards

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T: (029) 2040 6509





"Today is a good day for Wales" Rhian Davies, Chief Executive of Disability Wales

The Welsh Government launched its Framework for Action on Independent Living today, 19 September.

The framework sets out a positive vision for disabled people against the backdrop of a struggling economy combined with welfare reform and public spending cuts.

Measures in the plan include:

· Increasing the number of disabled people that are able to use the internet.

· Strengthening the tenancy rights of people with learning difficulties

· Working with the NHS, councils and the third sector so that as much service, care and support is provided at or as close to home as possible.

· A greater voice for disability groups at a strategic level through the establishment of independent user and carer panels.

· Improving access to public transport, including promoting higher standards of driver training and access to vehicles.

· Developing a Charter for Disabled Public Transport Passengers so that disabled passengers can identify bus and train operators that are committed to disability access.

· Continuing the concessionary bus travel scheme for disabled people which offers more generous support than similar schemes across the rest of the UK.

· Taking action to improve additional learning needs assessment and provision, improve accessibility of school buildings and develop learning pathways for disabled children and young people.

· Improving the delivery times and quality of complex equipment provided to disabled people.


Read the remainder of this article on the Disability Wales website.

Are you having problems getting a grant for your new project or expanding your range of services? Are approval dates too far off or funding conditions too restrictive? Something from the range of WCVA managed social investment alternatives might be the answer.

If you are looking to expand your income generation capabilities, WCVA suggests that a repayable loan could work for you. Decision making is quick and there is very little restriction on the use to which the funds can be put, which combine to put you in more control over the timing and nature of your project.

Terms and repayments can be moulded to your individual needs and with loans from £1,000 up to £5,000,000 there is something for every pocket and location - some funding is now available in Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Newport, Monmouthshire, Powys and Flintshire so it is no longer limited to just the Convergence area.


The available options are:

Micro Business Loan Fund

• Partnership with Credit Unions and Coalfields Regeneration Trust
• All Wales
• Loan size £1,000 to £20,000
• Maximum term 5 years
• Interest rate 10%
• Fee £200


Communities Investment Fund

• Convergence area only
• Loan size £20,000 to £250,000
• Maximum term 25 years
• Interest rate 6%
• 'Loan ready' grants


Property Loan Fund

• Partnership with Unity Trust Bank
• All Wales
• Loan size £250,000 to £5,000,000
• Maximum term 30 years
• Interest rate currently around 4.5%
• 1.5% fee
• 75% loan to value

The main message is that if you have a viable business proposition, the finance is available. WCVA doesn't want any good ideas to fail simply for the want of funding. From as little as £1,000 it could make all the difference.

For more information or to talk through your idea, please contact Matt Brown or Alun Jones via:
WCVA Helpdesk 0800 2888 329              Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The existing Wales Accord on the Sharing of Personal Information (WASPI) Service provision has been reconfigured to reflect demand for a sustainable information sharing framework into the future.
Details of new team members can be found on the Contact the Team page. The new team is funded until 31 March 2015.