SCIO Guidance

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation





What is a SCIO?

The Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) is a legal type of corporate body only for Scottish registered charities.

The SMSA suggest after you have formed your steering committee, become a constituted group (see constitution guidance), the next step is to create your Development/Business Plan (see SMSA library template downloads) which will accompany your submission for SCIO charity status with OSCR.

Download the guidance and SCIO forms here (they must be the green forms) –  SCIO Forms

Once you have your charity status there is the submission of your annual accounts, trustees report and the Independent examiners report if your SCIO accrues less than £250 000 per year. That would be all Men’s Sheds. So these documents are for you and you will also find them in our members online library to down load at your leisure.

They are available on this link on the OSCR Website : click here

If you are a paid up SMSA Shed Member email and he will help you with the form. Another benefit of your Shed/Developing group becoming a Shed member.

Some very good video guidance to writing a great trustees report in the video below.


A SCIO is subject to the same regulation as ordinary charities, with a better ability to act as a business body.

An OSCR* approved SCIO can enter into contracts, employ staff, incur debts, own property, sue and be sued. This means a SCIO can offer a higher degree of protection against personal liability for its trustees and members. A Shed having SCIO status will also provide reassurance for potential Shedders, those entering into contracts with it and its creditors.

It’s free to create one.

Opens doors to funding opportunities.

Creates a working model of governance for the board and the members e.g. a SCIO must keep detailed registers of its trustees and list all members, and ensure that you have regular members and trustee meetings.

Unlike charities that are ‘companies limited by guarantee’, SCIOs will only have OSCR as a single regulator.


Paperwork and discussions during application which men often don’t like doing.

Format may feel to be too much or overwhelming for start-up Sheds.

Restrictions on the duties and powers of members and trustees.

References to SCIO status in all the charity’s documents.

If a SCIO loses charitable status, it must be wound up.

A SCIO cannot reconstitute itself in another form e.g. a trust, it will have to be wound up.


*OSCR is the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

What our members say

In short. We already feel invigorated, more motivated, more active, healthier and indeed happier. Isn’t that what a Shed is about?- Bill B
Your advice and help in negotiating and securing us a lease has been invaluable. We wish you every success in developing the SMSA to the point that every area in Scotland will have a regional advisor.- Alan P
There have been times when the task ahead of us has seemed too much and without your presence to re-kindle our motivation we might have faltered.- Peter
Many thanks for such a fulsome conversation this morning. Both Lawson and I learnt a great deal from our chat and from your advice. Well Being!- Alan S

Men involved in community Men’s Sheds report living healthier, happier and more connected lives.

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