Want to find out how we help organisations deal with whistleblowing and safeguarding issues? Read on...
Whistleblowing complaints can be difficult to handle, and often, if it gets to this stage the issue has already gone too far for the individuals involved and the organisation's reputation.
Culture Shift's software can be used to enhance existing whistleblowing processes. We work with each of our partners to understand their processes and key roles regarding whistleblowing, and can include a specific question on whistleblowing within our reporting platform if partners request this.
We understand that whistleblowing is often unclear for employees, with many considering it the last resort. We recommend that our partners are clear on what behaviours may be reported through Culture Shift software, and which of those behaviours may constitute a whistleblowing offence.
Where partners do have a Whistleblowing Officer, we encourage that they have permission to access relevant information in our case management dashboard. Furthermore, we encourage the support articles to contain detail about any relevant whistleblowing hotlines.
We also consider safeguarding obligations by providing all of our partners with best practice questions that have been researched and user-tested. However, we understand that each of our partners may be different, or have different stakeholders they need to consider.
We encourage all partners with safeguarding responsibilities to provide specific permissions access within our report and case management dashboard to the safeguarding lead, or designated safeguarding officer.
Within our reporting form, third parties can report on behalf of others, include the Safeguarding Lead. And, reporters can list ‘safeguarding concern’ as an incident type within the system.
We encourage all of our partners to ensure that any relevant policies relating to safeguarding have references to our software being used, and to ensure there is a clear risk assessment and escalation process in place.
There are a few frequently asked questions that have emerged across our partnership base. And that includes how organisations can balance their safeguarding obligations with the introduction of anonymous reporting.
Here are some things to consider:
- We have a series of best-practice questions that have been designed and tested to remove barriers to reporting and give reporting parties ownership on how they share their experience, reduce the necessary personal information that is required to make a report, and to allow organisations to have meaningful insights into what is happening in their organisation.
- There is a reluctance to introduce anonymous reporting - unfortunately it is a necessary step in many organisations because there are a number of barriers to making an identifiable disclosure and/or going through a formal process - including trust and confidence in the organisation.
- Anonymous reporting provides that interim step for those who have experienced unacceptable behaviour, and empowers them to tell the organisation something has happened. This is key in part of their journey to seeking support.
- For organisations it provides meaningful data and insights into what is happening across the organisation to enable effective and proactive prevention, and risk management.
If you've found this article because you want to blow the whistle on an organisation, here's some information to help:
While Culture Shift does not receive disclosures or whistleblowing reports, we would encourage you to contact your organisation's Whistleblowing Officer, or the relevant person or body depending on your sector. You can find a comprehensive list of prescribed people and bodies on the government website.
Additionally, you may also wish to contact Protect, the national whistleblowing charity for free, confidential advice on 020 3117 2520. Or you could use Acas Helpline Online to ask questions, look at the full A to Z of advice that Acas can give, or call the Acas hotline on 0300 123 1100.