Exempt charities are largely institutions of further and higher education, universities, industrial and provident societies, friendly societies, or national museums, that were established by Act of Parliament or by Royal Charter. These organisations are specified in Schedule 3 to the Charities Act 2011.
Historically, they were treated as exempt from supervision because they were considered to be adequately supervised by, or accountable to, some other body or authority, such as Parliament. However this supervision was not always formalised, and the Charities Act 2006 (which was consolidated into the 2011 Act) introduced the idea of "principal regulator" for exempt charities. Where a previously exempt charity had no principal regulator it would become subject to registration with, and regulation by, the Charity Commission.
Although outside the jurisdiction of the Charity Commission, exempt charities are still subject to the usual legal rules applicable to charities in English law and to the general provisions of the Charities Acts, and may seek advice from the Charity Commission
The following list (comprising schedule 3 to the Charities Act 2011) lists institutions both by name and by generic type as exempt charities:
Institutions with an exemption from the Charitable Trusts Acts 1853 to 1939