As a registered charity in England and Wales (among others) we are subject to charities legislation and scrutiny by the Charity Commission.

As a public corporation and non-departmental public body that receives taxpayers’ money as part of our funding model, we are formally accountable to parliament for how we use that money. Our annual report and accounts are laid before parliament and our work is subject to scrutiny by the Foreign Affairs Committee. Our Chair and Chief Executive may be called before the Committee to give evidence about our activity around the world.

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

We are audited by the UK’s National Audit Office.

Outcome of the Tailored Review (2019)

As we are sponsored by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, we were previously subject to what was known as 'Tailored Reviews' at least once in every parliament. Our most recent Tailored Review was published in 2019. The aim of this review was to ensure we can still fulfil our mission, are well governed and managed, and can account for what we do. 

Since April 2022, Tailored Reviews have been replaced by the Public Bodies Review Programme, and we have not yet been reviewed under this programme. For further information on the Public Bodies Review Programme click here

You can read more here about how we are funded and our relationship with government.