NCVO has urged the Charity Commission to improve its registration processes as part of its response to the consultation on charities providing complementary and alternative medicines.
The Charity Commission’s consultation closed last week, with the regulator receiving more than 300 responses. It plans to set out a revised approach to registration in the autumn.
This could result in the removal of hundreds of charities and was prompted by the Good Thinking Society, which is a charity set up to promote scientific thinking.
But NCVO said the consultation raises wider issues for the sector and reiterated that it believes the regulator “should focus on better assessment of applications for registration”.
It suggests that the Commission “consider potential harm, as well as benefit” of applicants and “consider instructing experts (two or more) practising in the field of the applicant charity when it finds it necessary in circumstances where the evidence is conflicting and of equal weight”.
NCVO stressed that it could not provide “technical expertise” on complementary medicine.
It also urged the Commission to maintain a “flexible” approach.
“This review also presents an opportunity for the Commission to encourage the sector to better comply with public benefit reporting requirements, particularly following its report finding in April 2017 that 54 per cent of a random sample of 107 charity accounts reviewed, did not meet the public benefit reporting requirement,” NCVO’s response said.