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An exempt charity is an institution established in England and Wales for charitable purposes which is exempt from registration with, and oversight by, the Charity Commission.

Exempt charities are largely institutions of further and higher education, universities, student unions, Industrial and Provident Societies, Friendly Societies, or national museums, that were established by Act of Parliament or by Royal Charter. These organisations are specified in Schedule 2 to the Charities Act 1993.

Historically, they were treated as exempt from supervision because they were considered to be adequately supervised by, or accountable to, some other body or authority, such as Parliament.

Although outside the jurisdiction of the Charity Commission, they are still subject to the usual legal rules applicable to charities in English law and to the general provisions of the Charities Acts.

The Charities Act 2006 substantially changed the law on exempt charities, introducing the requirement of a "principal regulator" to oversee the compliance of the charity with charity law.

Named charities

The following institutions are specifically listed by name as exempt charities by the 1993 Act:


  1. Charities Act 1993, Schedule 2

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