COVID-19 lockdown: what trustees need to know and do

London, 20 July 2020 – The Chartered Governance Institute has today published new guidance for charity trustees and senior management teams, which offers practical steps to help them thoroughly review what needs to be done to open up safely.

Louise Thomson, Head of Policy (Not-for-Profit) at the Institute says:

“Since May, the government has announced various steps to ease lockdown and this has led to much thought within the charity sector about how to reopen offices and other sites in a controlled, measured and safe way. It is unlikely that all activities will return to a pre-lockdown situation for the foreseeable future and trustees and senior management teams need to work together to ensure the return is safe, effective and suitably flexible to respond to further local or national lockdowns. As any decision to open up a charity’s physical activities and sites must be made by the board of trustees, collectively, in consultation with the senior management team, this guidance provides an overview of the fundamental issues trustees should be considering, as well as a top-level view of the legal duties placed upon the board. Suggested topics and questions that trustees and senior management teams should discuss to fully understand the needs of their charity are also included.”

The guidance covers the following areas:

  • Getting the basics right (charity law, company law, health and safety legislation and governing documents)
  • Identifying the potential liabilities (general risks, health and safety, corporate manslaughter and insolvency)
  • Safety first (assessing the risk of reopening, risk assessment template, staff consultation framework, reopening checklist, action group, communications, test and change)
  • Reasonable decision making (valid meetings, better papers, reasonable decision-making framework, record and retain, review and revise)

The guidance can be downloaded for free at 

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For further information, please contact Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager:  
+44 (0)20 7612 7072
+44 (0)7890 649 143

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Chartered Governance Institute is the qualifying and membership body for governance with over 125 years’ experience of educating and supporting governance professionals. With a Royal Charter purpose of leading ‘effective and efficient governance and administration of commerce, industry and public affairs’, we provide professional development, guidance and thought leadership, and work with regulators and policy makers to champion high standards. Website:
  2. The Chartered Governance Institute has a wealth of resources for the charity sector, details of which can be found at 

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