VSS becomes a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation

On 1 April 2019 VSS changed from a company limited by guarantee to a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), we explain what that means.

1 April, 2019

What is a SCIO?

SCIO is a new legal form for registered Scottish charities that was introduced 2011 to allow charities to be incorporated while being administered and regulated by one body. The majority of new charities since 2011 choose to be SCIOs.

Why VSS changed to a SCIO

VSS’ strategy includes an objective to have governance that is capable, resilient and a model of good practice. To achieve this we consulted charity governance experts Burness Paull who recommended that VSS become a SCIO. In the current environment, this is a more modern and efficient way of governing our organisation. Previously, we had to report to two regulators – Companies House and Office of Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) as well as abide by company and charity law. As a SCIO we have one regulator, OSCR, and adhere to charity law. In simple terms, the regulation is a better fit for VSS.

Our constitution

We amended our constitution to incorporate new SCIO regulations. While rewriting this document we took the opportunity to update our charitable purposes (our remit).

Every charity will have different purposes but they can only carry out activities that fall within their charitable objectives. When deciding if VSS will take on new work, the charitable purposes must be examined to see if the work falls within them. OSCR needs to approve any changes.

Our charitable purposes as of 1st April 2019

The organisation’s purposes are:-

  1. To reduce the distress and disadvantageous effects on victims and witnesses of crime and other forms of harmful behaviour having similar effects to crime, including on the families and friends of such persons and others affected to the extent that they are in need of such emotional & practical support.
  2. To advance public education and awareness in relation to the impact of crime and other forms of harmful behaviour having similar effects to crime, on all those affected and to champion the rights of victims and witnesses and all others affected by crime