As a registered charity we are subject to charities legislation and scrutiny by the Charity Commission.

As a non-departmental public body spending taxpayers’ money, we are formally accountable to parliament. Our annual report and accounts are laid out before parliament and our work is scrutinised by the Foreign Affairs Committee. Our Chair and Chief Executive are regularly called before the Committee to give evidence about our activity around the world.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is the British Council's sponsoring department and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is answerable to parliament for the policies, operations and performance of the British Council. The Management Statement sets out the relationship between the British Council and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Our work is audited by the UK’s National Audit Office.

Outcome of the Tailored Review (2019)

As we are sponsored by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we undergo what is known as a Tailored Review at least once in every parliament. The aim of this review is to ensure we can still fulfil our mission, are well governed and managed, and can account for what we do. 

Read the latest Tailored Review, including its 29 recommendations.

You can also read more about the purpose of the Tailored Review and how we are funded and our relationship with government.