Organisational Compliance

All eligibility criteria and compulsory compliance requirements set by funders MUST be adhered to in your application.

Carefully read the funder's guidelines to ensure that your application totally complies. Organisations may have to demonstrate that they: 

  • Are a legal entity
  • Have adequate insurance
  • Comply with statutory requirements
  • Are either an accredited organisation or working towards accreditation.

You should know:

  • If your organisation is statutory, incorporated, or unincorporated
  • Your organisation's Australian Business Number (ABN), Australian Regsitered Body Number (ARBN), or Australian Company Number (ACN)
  • The types and limits of your organisation's insurance
  • Whether your organisation has any current or pending legal matters which need to be disclosed
  • Who your accrediting body is.

Collate and store up-to-date copies of this information (i.e., certificates of insurance, audited financial reports/statements, ABN numbers) in an accessible location.

Some funders will require you to submit copies of these documents with your application.

Legal Entity

A legal entity may enter into legally recognised agreements or contracts, obligations, debts, and be accountable for illegal activities. Different types of legal entities include associations, corporations, partnerships, proprietorships, trusts, or individuals. Each type of legal entity is governed by different legislation and/or common law principles and has its own limitations and benefits.

Incorporated Bodies

Incorporated bodies are corporations or associations recognised as legal entities. Once a community group starts to accumulate assets and wealth, they should consider becoming incorporated. Non-government organisations may be listed as either corporations or associations depending on their:

  • Size
  • Income
  • Scope of work.

Corporations are governed by Commonwealth legislation.

Associations are governed by state and territory legislation. They tend to be smaller than corporations. See the table below for further information and contacts.

Benefits of Incorporation

There are many benefits to being an incorporated body.

Registering as a corporation or association is beneficial for non-government alcohol and other drug organisations as it:

  • Limits financial and legal liabilities for individuals
  • Increases funding opportunities as many private and public funding bodies require applicants to be incorporated
  • Simplifies financial arrangements and increases transparency
  • Clarifies and fixes the purposes (or objects) for which the organisaton was formed
  • Provides organisations with a clear regulatory framework for how they should operate
  • Ensures the organisation is publicly accountable, compliant and transparent in its operations
  • May provide tax advantages.

For more information about the benefits of incorporation, read the PilchConnect factsheet:

If you want to learn more about incorporation in your jurisdcition, contact the relevant department listed in the table below.

Jurisdictional Departments

Jurisdiction Department
ACT Office of Regulatory Services
NSW Fair Trading
NT Department of Business
QLD Office of Fair Trading
SA Consumer and Business Services
TAS Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
VIC Consumer Affairs Victoria
WA Department of Commerce
National Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)

Unincorporated Bodies

An unincorporated association is an organisation which has no separate legal identity from that of its members. It is simply a group of people who associate for a particular purpose and have verbally agreed to carry out certain functions. It may operate according to a constitution or rules.

An unincorporated body is:

"...where two or more persons are bound together for one or more common purposes by mutual undertakings, each having mutual duties and obligations, in an organization which has rules identifying in whom control of the organization and its funds are vested, and which can be joined or left at will." Conservative and Unionist Central Office v. Burrell, 1982 W.L.R.1 522 (1982).

An unincorporated association cannot sue or be sued. Its assets must be held by trustees on its behalf, contracts must be made for the association by the committee members, and the liability of the members (especially the committee members entering into those contracts) is generally personal and not limited to the assets of the association.

Should Your Association Remain Unincorporated?

It is appropriate to be an unincorporated association where: 

  • Your assets are relatively small
  • You are a local branch of a charity, and a standard constitution exists for branches
  • You have a membership
  • The management committee is elected or appointed to hold office by members for a fixed period of time
  • You are undertaking a one-off, short-term project that does not require much funding
  • Your associations objects are carried out wholly or partly by, or through, the members (i.e., where the members undertake office or voluntary work on behalf of the organisation).

For more information about unincorporated bodies, see the Our Community website.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations & Services

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO) are incorporated bodies controlled by, and accountable to, Aboriginal people in those areas in which they operate.  ACCHOs are governed by a Board of Directors. They operate in the metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas of all States and Territories in Australia.

An Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) is an incorporated Aboriginal organisation initiated by a local Aboriginal community and based in that community. The Service is governed by an Aboriginal body elected by the local Aboriginal community.

The table below provides links to peak national, state and territory bodies representing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Services. For more information about incorporating an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and/or Service, visit the The Australian Government Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) Website.

Peak Bodies Representing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and Services

Jurisdiction Organisation name
ACT Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service Incorporated
NSW Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) of New South Wales
NT Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory Incorporated (AMSANT)
QLD Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC)
SA Aboriginal Health Council of SA Incorporated (ACHSA)
TAS Tasmania Aboriginal Centre Incorporated (TAC)
VIC Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Incorporated (VACCHO)


Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia Incorporated (AHCWA)


National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Organisational Insurance

Certificates of Insurance

Make sure that your oganisation has a current Certificate of Insurance verifying the existence of your insurance cover. Ensure that the Certificate:

  • Lists the effective date of the policy
  • The type of insurance cover purchased
  • The types and dollar amount of applicable liability.

Tax Registration

Australian Business Number (ABN) Details

If your not-for-profit organisation has a GST turnover of  $150,000 or more you must register for GST and you'll need an ABN to do this. If your organisation has a lower GST turnover, registering is optional.

For more information about ABNs see the Australian Taxation Office website.

If you have an ABN ensure:

  • Your details are correct and up-to-date
  • The number is easily accessible when you are completing a funding application.

Australian Company Number

Under the Corporations Act 2001, every company in Australia is issued with a unique, nine-digit number, an Australian Company Number (ACN), which must be shown on a range of documents. The purpose of the ACN is to ensure adequate identification of companies when transacting business. New companies are issued with numbers by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) upon registration.

Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN)

The ARBN is a nine-digit number allocated by ASIC when a body is registered with them other than as a company (e.g., foreign companies).

If a registrable Australian body wishes to carry on business in one or more states or territories other than its home jurisdiction, it must be registered under Part 5B.2 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Associations registered under state laws may be a registrable Australian body. If you are conducting business interstate, contact ASIC for further information. 


Institutions or funds can be established for a charitable purpose. Charitable purposes are those that the law regards as charitable, namely:

  • Advancing health
  • Advancing education
  • Advancing social or public welfare
  • Promoting or protecting human rights
  • Other similar purposes "beneficial to the public" (Charities Act 2013 (Cth)).

Reporting Statements

Financial Reports

Your financial reporting obligations are dependent on the size and scope of your organisation and whether it is registered as an association or corporation.  The reporting and auditing obligations for associations are contained in the publication:

To highlight your organisation's financial information, control mechanisms and viability attach a copy of your most recent approved financial statements as an Appendix or a link.

An audited financial statement can demonstrate that your organisation has good financial management skills and systems in place.

Annual Reports

Annual Reports are a useful way of providing additional information about your agency/organisation.  Usually, annual reports include details of activities completed during the year, details of Board members and staff, and report on impact and outcomes in relation to your program of work.

These documents can often be attached to your application as an Appendix or a link.

Quality Assurance

Providing quality care to consumers should be one of the critical success factors identified as integral to your organisation's success (see Your Organisation's Track Record). Your organisation should have processes in place to measure:

  • What you do
  • How well you do it
  • Whether anyone is better off.

Quality assurance processes often involve an external agency evaluation of whether your organisation:

  • Complies with agreed service standards
  • Provides services that are relevant, accessible, and equitable for consumers.

Quality assurance generally involves:

  • Identifying and monitoring appropriate service standards (international, national, regional and local) including clinical safety and standards
  • Monitoring and inspecting premises
  • Implementing a process for consumer feedback and complaints management
  • Advocating for those using the service.

The main objective of these activities is to assess the consumer's experience to determine whether you provide a quality service. Information obtained from these processes may be used to:

If your organisation has received, or is working towards obtaining quality assurance accreditation, include evidence of this in your Appendices.



Quality Standards, Frameworks, and Guidelines

Western Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (WANADA). (2012). Standard on Culturally Secure Practice (Alcohol and other Drug Sector). WANADA: Perth, Western Australia.

Western Australian Drug and Alcohol Office and WANADA. (2005). The Western Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Sector Quality Framework. WANADA: Perth, Western Australia.

Roche, A.M., Evans, K., Steenson, T., Pidd, K., Lee, N., & Cusack, L. (2012). Australia’s Alcohol and Other Drug Telephone Information, Referral, and Counselling Services: A Guide to Quality Service Provision. Adelaide, South Australia: National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University.

Victorian Government Department of Human Services. (2008). Shaping the Future: The Victorian Alcohol and Other Drug Quality Framework. Victorian Government Department of Human Services: Melbourne, Victoria.

NSW Department of Health. (2007). Drug and Alcohol Treatment Guidelines for Residential Settings. NSW Department of Health: North Sydney, NSW.

NSW Department of Health. (2008). Drug and Alcohol Psychosocial Interventions: Professional Practice Guidelines. NSW Department of Health: North Sydney, NSW.

Shand, F., & Gates, J. (2004). Treating Alcohol Problems: Guidelines for Alcohol and Drug Professionals. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing: Canberra.

Crane, P., Buckley, J. and Francis, C. (2012). A Framework for Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Practice. Youth Alcohol and Drug Good Practice Guide. Brisbane: Dovetail.

Department Resource
Australian Government Department of Health National Standards for Mental Health Services
South Australian Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES) 
Homelessness New South Wales National Standards for Homelessness Services
New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services Good Practice Guidelines
Victorian Department of Human Services Department of Human Services Standards (Victoria)
Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety, and Disability Services Human Services Quality Standards
Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services Quality and Safety Standards Framework
Western Australian Department of Health Strategic Plan for Safety and Quality in Health Care
Northern Territory Department of Health Quality Assurance
ACT Health Safety and Quality Framework

The Australian Government Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) Website

TIPS: Organisational Compliance

  • Store key organisational information in a hard copy and/or electronic folder.
  • Create templates for letters, memorandum of understanding, and other communication tools.
  • Prior to attaching any documents such as Audited Financial Statements and/or Annual Reports please check that the funding body allows you to do so.


Complete the activities below by en​tering text into the fields provided and/or completing the attached documents. If you download and complete an attached document, you will have to save this to your personal file.

You may also:

  • Export these answers: You may export your answers to the activities to a word document without saving to Your Funding Portfolio. Responses can then be saved in your personal files
  • Print this page: Users may print the page
  • Save and continue to next step: Users may save their responses to a secure server before continuing to another section of the resource. Users may then export and print all their saved responses from Your Funding Portfolio
  • Save progress: Users may save their responses as they work on the page.

Activity 2.5.1 Organisational Status & Common Documents

Prior preparation will make the process of writing funding applications a little less onerous. You should know:
1. Whether your organisation is incorporated
2. Your statutory reporting obligations.

Construct a portfolio of funding-related documents that will be required for most applications by answering the questions below.

The portfolio is likely to contain the following standard building blocks for any funding application:
1. A brief description of your organisation (see Who You
Are and What You Are About)
2. An indication of capacity, including organisational
equipment and resources available, and experience
and track record of staff and organisation (see Your
Organisation’s Track Record and Your Board, Staff
and Volunteers)
3. Certificates of Insurance, ABN, Annual Reports
4. Accreditation and other forms of recognition and merit.

Section_2.5_Activities.pdf (143 KB)

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