Are your organisation's children, staff and volunteers aware of what to do if they have worries about anything happening or going on in your group and that they will be supported if they came forward?
It is important that people within your organisation have the confidence to come forward to speak or act if they are unhappy with anything. There are plenty of ways your group can help this happen.
What does 'whistleblowing' mean?
Whistleblowing occurs when a person raises a concern about dangerous, illegal activity or any wrong-doing within their organisation.
Whistleblowing can involve sharing potentially vital information about health and safety risks, evironmental factors, possible fraud, harm of children or vulnerable adults, covering up for someone and many more. It is essential these factors are addressed immediately, so 'Blow the whistle' as early as possible to prevent any real damage being done.
How should I 'blow the whistle'?
Every situation is different so it is advisable to seek advice before blowing the whistle. Contacting someone independent to your allegation is best practice.
Here are a few things to consider when pursuing a concern:
- keep calm
- consider risks and next steps
- let facts do the speaking, don't make allegations up
- don't pursue the allegation yourself
- and remember you're the witness.
Sample whistleblowing policy
A policy can make it clear that reports of dangerous or illegal activity will be taken seriously within a organisation. A simple, effective policy should cover both whistleblower and the organisation by showing a step by step process for raising and dealing with issues.
Examples when someone might 'Blow the whistle'
- a danger to the public
- a danger to the environment
- puts the safety of people in your organisation at risk
- assaulting children and young people
- financial malpractice, fraud
Public Concern at Work
PCAW helpline - 020 7404 6609