HEFCE became principal regulator of those higher education institutions (HEIs) that are exempt charities on 1 June 2010.
On the same date, the Charity Commission's regulatory powers were extended to apply to a number of exempt charities, including HEIs. The Commission may only use its powers in relation to an HEI after consulting HEFCE.
As principal regulator we must do all we reasonably can to meet the compliance objective in relation to the exempt charity HEIs.
The compliance objective is:
'to promote compliance by charity trustees with their legal obligations in exercising control and management of the administration of the charity.'
The statutory commencement order made it clear that the new objectives of both HEFCE and the Charity Commission are forward looking. But we are able to respond to issues that occurred in the whole of the 2009-10 financial year providing that neither we nor the Commission were aware of them before 1 June 2010.
The only change to HEFCE's legal powers is that, since 1 June 2010, we have the express power to request any necessary information from HEIs that helps us meet the compliance objective.
The law also limits the extent to which ministers may request information obtained by us as principal regulator. This mirrors the fact that the Charity Commission is not subject to ministerial oversight as regulator of registered charities.
HEFCE has agreed a memorandum of understanding with the Charity Commission. Its main purpose is to describe how the two organisations will work together. It includes a table setting out the Commission's protection and support powers, and lists all of the exempt charity HEIs which fall within HEFCE's role as principal regulator. To prevent confusion the memorandum also lists the HEIs that are registered charities and that will continue to be regulated by the Commission.
Page last updated 20 April 2012