Serious Incident Reporting Policy


20 minutes to complete

Straightforward serious incident reporting policy that sets out what constitutes a serious incident as per the guidance issued by the Charity Commission.

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Is this right for me?

This document is right for your organisation if:

  • Your organisation is a charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales; and
  • You do not have a Serious Incident Reporting policy for your charity or you would like to adopt a new policy.

This document is not right for your organisation if:

  • Your organisation is not a charity registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales;
  • You intend to do bulk reporting of serious incidents rather than individual reports for each serious incident that arises, or have already come to an agreement with the Charity Commission in this regard. If your charity intends to bulk report or has already agreed a reporting procedure with the Charity Commission, we recommend that you seek specific legal advice in relation to the policy. The team at Bates Wells would be happy to assist with any such enquiries; or
  • You have regional offices and would like your Serious Incident Reporting policy to cover serious incident reporting across all your offices, partners and affiliates (note: this template instead cross-refers to any agreement entered into with a regional office, partner, affiliate or recipient of funds/resources, to ensure timely reporting over any serious incidents).

Please note: After our step-by-step customisation process, the document will be sent to you in an uneditable PDF format. If you would like more specific advice on data protection and particularly data collection statements (including opt-ins or opt-outs), please contact Bates Wells at and a member of our legal team will be able to give an estimate for providing bespoke advice. 

If the policy is updated before 31 Dec 2018, we'll provide updated versions to everyone who purchased the document before that date.

What you'll need…

What do I need before I start?

You will need to know:

  • You will need to know the following information. There will be information provided throughout the questionnaire to help you answer the questions:
  • Your charity’s full name;
  • Whether your charity has entered into any agreement with its regional offices, affiliates, partners or any entities in receipt of the charities funds/resources in respect of serious incident reporting, and if so the name of this/these agreement(s). This may not necessarily be a separate agreement, instead it may be a requirement in any agreement between federated charities or movements or a term in grant or co-operation agreements;
  • Whether your charity is part of a federated structure (i.e. one of a number of legally separate charities that operate with a common identity) and there are other member organisations over which the charity has any control, provides funding or other resources or in relation to which an incident may result in reputational damage to the whole group or movement;
  • The list of policies the charity already has in place which relate to contexts in which serious incidents may arise, for example: an anti-bribery policy, anti-money laundering policy, information security policy, safeguarding policy, whistleblowing policy, etc.
  • The name, position, and contact details (email and telephone number) of the senior employee to whom any serious incidents should be reported under the policy (other than any relevant officers named in the above policies);
  • The name and contact details (email and telephone number) of the Chair of the board of trustees;
  • The name and contact details (email and telephone number) of another trustee to whom serious incidents should be reported, should the senior employee be involved in the incident and Chair not be available. If your charity has one, this could be the Safeguarding Trustee; and
  • The date you wish the policy to be reviewed. Our template recommends that the policy is reviewed every two years (or upon the Charity Commission issuing updated guidance in relation to serious incident reporting, or as otherwise appropriate), however you may wish for this review to be annual and/or to coincide with a specific time of year, for example when the charity’s annual accounts are approved.

Remember: If you don’t have everything you need you can make a start, save the information and return to complete the form another time.





Q: What is the process?

A: Once you have logged in and paid for the form you will be asked a series of questions. These questions help us to create exactly the right document for you. There is lots of information to help you. Once you have finished the document it will be emailed to you with more instructions about what to do next.

Q: What if I don’t have time to complete the form?

A: If you don’t have all the information you need or if you get interrupted you can save the information you have inputted and return to the document later.

Q: What if I want more information about other policies?

A: You may find some of the other resources on Bates Wells Get Legal helpful, there are a range of different policies available that may be useful to your organisation. If you would like more specific advice about your organisation’s circumstances, please contact Bates Wells at or 020 7551 7777 and a member of our legal team will be able to give an estimate for providing bespoke advice.


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How it Works

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    Select a legal document you need from our library.

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    Answer some simple questions on your organisation.

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    Your customised PDF document is emailed to you.