Training and resources for trustees



You can find detailed information on what trustees need to know on the Charity Commission, the Charity Commission Northern Ireland and OSCR, the Scottish Charity regulator’s websites.

For charities in England and Wales: you should add your trustees emails to the charity register. They will then get a quarterly newsletter called CC News. Trustees can also sign up for weekly updates from the Charity Commission here.

Charity law in Scotland is devolved and they have a suite of guidance relating to different aspects of charity life. All of their guidance can be found here.

The Fundraising Regulator is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They maintain and uphold the Code of Fundraising Practice which sets the standards for fundraising across the UK. You should ensure you are familiar with the whole code, but especially the standards in section 2 “Responsibilities of charitable institutions and those who govern them” 

Umbrella bodies, professional bodies, specialist charity organisations

Association of Chairs offers Chairs: provide training and resources for free to celebrate Trustees’ Week, take a look at their working one to one guide.

Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness offers tools for trustees here.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) supports not-for-profit organisations including by encouraging our members to volunteer their time and finance skills as trustees. We provide news, guidance and free professional liability insurance for volunteering work undertaken with a UK charity to members of our Volunteering Community, give trustees’ confidence in their role through our new online Trustee Training Modules and connect not-for-profit organisations with finance professionals that want to volunteer via

ICAEW’s online Trustee Training Modules cover six topics to help new and existing trustees feel confident in their role: legal responsibilities, financial responsibilities, managing board dynamics, risk management, managing people, and planning for success (covering strategic planning and impact measurement).  They are interactive so users can engage and share ideas and experiences.   The Charity Commission, NCVO, Honorary Treasurers Forum and other sector bodies were directly involved in developing this resource for trustees.

The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) provides free and heavily subsidised training for Trustees all year round and has a range of governance resources available for all as well as the new Essential Trustee video series launched for Trustees Week. These free online videos will help to help promote good governance and ensure Trustees of all charities understand their responsibilities.

ICAS promotes volunteering opportunities to its members and offers charities seeking CAs to act as trustees or in other voluntary roles the opportunity to promote these for free on its website.

ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body helping charity leaders to achieve the highest standards of governance. It offers a range of free guidance notes and tools to its subscribers, keeping them informed about the latest developments in charity law and regulation. ICSA provides a wealth of professional development resources including qualifications, events, books and on-going training. To find out more visit the ICSA charity hub.

NCVO offers a range of ongoing training, and consultancy to help ensure trustees understand their roles and are able to govern effectively. In addition NCVO offers a range of tools and resources which are free to its members.

The Young Trustees Movement aims to double the number of people under the age of 30 on charity boards, so that they can better navigate uncertainty, future proof decisions and reflect the interests of their communities. They do this by:

The National Governors’ Association (NGA) has developed several resources to help school trustee boards fulfil their functions effectively. This includes:

The Cultural Governance Alliance (CGA) is a collective of agencies, organisations and advocates working strategically to champion, share and promote best practice in the governance of culture. They offer a vast range of free governance resources and membership to a network of individuals and organisations committed to evolving good governance in the cultural sector. Find out more and join here:

Reach Volunteering has a range of resources including: Guide to being a trustee, guide to recruiting a trusteeguide to the legal responsibilities and liabilities of trustees, doing a skills audit and top tips for recruiting a digital trustee

Small Charities Coalition (free to join) offers a range of free governance resources, resources on insurance and risk, and accounts and finance.

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) offers a range of resources, including a handbook and animation, to help trustees to understand their responsibilities when it comes to fundraising.

GETTING ON BOARD has a new, free guide covers everything you need to know about how to become a charity trustee, including:

  • What a trustee is
  • The transformative impact of being a trustee
  • Responsibilities of a trustee
  • Finding the right role
  • Crafting a winning application

Packed full of information, tips and stories from real trustees, it’s a must-read for anyone who is curious about becoming a charity trustee.

Sign up to receive a copy when it launches.

The Honorary Treasurers Forum helps the important work Honorary Treasurers carry out by providing a place where they can come together as a community, share expertise and promote best practice.

NPC are a charity think tank and consultancy which occupies a unique position at the nexus between charities and funders, helping them achieve the greatest impact they can.

LawWorks’ Not-For-Profits Programme brokers free legal advice to small not-for-profit organisations that provide invaluable support to individuals and communities across England and Wales. LawWorks is pleased to be developing the Programme by introducing the new Honorary Counsel scheme which matches not-for-profit organisations with legal volunteers for longer-term pro bono assistance.

Suffolk Academy for Voluntary Organisations’s low cost online learning.

Volunteer Now has a DIY Committee Code.

In person training

Organisations that train trustees include DSC, NCVO and SCVO, Civil Society MediaCharity Leaders Trustee Academy,  Getting on board and IoD.

There is a special free training programme, Building Resilience, for small London charities run by Small Charities Coalition with City of London Corporation.