Fit & Proper Persons

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Ensuring that we are good stewards of our charitable funds

Legislation introduced in 2010 requires charities, including churches, that reclaim Gift Aid to demonstrate that trustees (which for churches means PCC members) and any church staff or volunteers, who “manage” church funds pass a “fit and proper persons” test.
What is the test for?

The purpose of the fit and proper persons test is to help ensure that charity or church funds, including Gift Aid repayments, are used only for the church’s charitable purposes. Failure to comply will mean, amongst other things, that Gift Aid may not be repaid to the church. PCCs must now be ready and able to demonstrate, is asked, that they have taken reasonable steps to ensure that their trustees and their managers are fit and proper persons.

What do we need to do?

Compliance is not at all difficult; help and advice can be found in the right hand column. Start by downloading our Liverpool guide to the Fit and Proper Persons test.  This will tell you what you need to do now, and what you'll need to do in future.

Please note that the Gift Aid Secretary, who is usually the person nominated to HMRC as the Authorised Official, must additionally read the HMRC detailed guidance on Fit and Proper Persons and sign a declaration to that effect. This is done in the ChV1 Form, so read on.
Charities Variation Form (ChV1)
The ChV1 form is used to notify HMRC Charities of important details relating to your Gift Aid claim. The Form and guidance on completion are found here or via the links in the right hand column. The first time you use the ChV1 you will need to notify HMRC of the names of between two and four “responsible” persons, two of which will need to sign the ChV1. The form also requires that they will need to sign that any new Authorised Official (i.e. Gift Aid Secretary) has read the Fit and Proper Persons guidance. You will need to use this ChV1 form to notify HMRC of:
  • Any new or additional Authorised signatory ie your Gift Aid secretary
  • Your bank account details, if you currently receive your repayment by cheque, or if you change your bank account details
  • Changes to “responsible” persons
  • Any other changes to the information which HMRC holds about your parish
Please note that for administrative reasons in HMRC you should send a ChV1 form at least a month before you make any Gift Aid claim.


Useful Resources

Straightforward guidance about the test and what you need to do:

Guide to F&P Persons Test

HMRC Fit and Proper Person's helpsheet, with Fit and Proper Declaration:

Helpsheet and Declaration

PCC nomination form, which includes required Fit and Proper persons wording:

PCC Nomination form

More information

HMRC detailed guidance on the fit and proper persons test.  This is essential reading for your Authorised signatory (Gift Aid secretary) and those who sign the ChV1 Charities Authorisation form:

Detailed guidance

HMRC Fit and proper persons helpsheet, including model declaration:

HMRC helpsheet

The central Church of England’s Gift Aid guide on Fit and Proper persons:

C of E guide

Any queries?

If you have any queries about the Fit and Proper Person's test please contact:

Resources Team
0151 705 2180
Kim Stanley
0151 705 2132