Section 2 – ACNC overview

Role and functions

The ACNC was established under the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (ACNC Act), and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (Consequential and Transitional) Act 2012 (Cth).

The ACNC Act sets out the objects and functions of the ACNC, as well as the framework for the registration and regulation of charities. This includes the charities’ ongoing obligations.

The objects of the ACNC Act (section15-5(1)) are to:

  1. to maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in the Australian not-for-profit sector
  2. to support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative Australian not-for-profit sector
  3. to promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the Australian not-for-profit sector.

The Commissioner is a statutory office holder appointed to administer the ACNC Act, and is supported in this role by the staff of the ACNC. The Commissioner reports to the Assistant Treasurer, and provides an annual report to Parliament. The ACNC plays a key role in delivering the Australian Government’s not-for-profit (NFP) regulatory reform agenda.

The ACNC carries out its objects in the following ways:

  • registering organisations as charities
  • helping charities understand and meet their obligations under the ACNC Act through information, guidance, advice and other support
  • maintaining a free searchable public register of information about registered charities
  • working with Commonwealth agencies and state and territory governments to reduce unnecessary regulatory obligations, streamline charity reporting requirements and develop a 'report once, use often' reporting framework for charities.

The ACNC’s regulatory powers are set out in the ACNC Act. In regulating the NFP sector, the ACNC follows a comprehensive regulatory framework which was developed in consultation with key stakeholders including charities, professional bodies, government agencies and the broader community. See further details on the development and application of our regulatory approach.

ACNC vision, mission and values

The ACNC’s vision, mission and values inform the way we engage and interact with charities and the community. They align with the objects of the ACNC Act and set standards for ACNC staff to follow. The strategic priorities act as the ACNC’s overarching aims and goals.

ACNC vision, mission and values

Vision Values
  • Charities that inspire confidence and respect
  • Fairness
  • Accountability
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Respect
Mission Strategic priorities

The national independent regulator of charities working to:

  • promote confidence in charities
  • help charities to understand their obligations
  • support the health of the sector
  • streamline reporting and reduce red tape
  • Maintaining and enhancing public trust and confidence in charities
  • Supporting charities to be healthy and sustainable
  • Making it easier for charities by driving regulatory and reporting simplification
  • Developing an independent, transparent and well governed organisation which is enhanced by a positive internal culture