What is Whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is a term used when an individual discloses information relating to malpractice or wrongdoing and/or the covering up of malpractice or wrongdoing.
This whistleblowing policy can be brought into effect should an individual become aware of information which they reasonably believe tends to show one or more of the following:
- a criminal offence has been, is being or is likely to be committed;
- a person has failed, is failing, or is likely to fail, to comply with a legal obligation;
- a training provider has failed, is failing, or is likely to fail, to comply with one or more of the requirements of the awarding organisation which approves it;
- a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring, or is likely to occur;
- the health and safety of an individual has been, is being, or is likely to be, endangered;
- the environment has been, is being, or is likely to be, damaged; or
- information relating to any of the above has been, or is likely to be, deliberately concealed.
Making an Allegation
Key examples of whistleblowing disclosures which may be made to us include:
- a worker for a training provider making a disclosure about that provider’s malpractice;
- a learner or parent/guardian making a disclosure about a training provider’s malpractice;
- potentially fraudulent claims for qualifications.
In some cases you may want to raise your concern internally within the organisation.
If you feel that a concern you have raised internally has not been appropriately addressed or if you feel unable to raise your concerns internally you may want to make a disclosure to someone outside of your organisation.
Similarly, it may be that your concern is about something you have witnessed outside of your place of work, for example as a service user or observer.
- If you choose to make a whistleblowing disclosure to us and have provided contact details we will send you an initial acknowledgement that we have received your disclosure.
- We will normally ask you to provide as much of the evidence you have seen as possible to support your disclosure.
- We will look into anonymous whistleblowing disclosures or pass them on to the relevant organisation (where appropriate). However, it may not always be possible to investigate or substantiate anonymous disclosures.
- We will consider each disclosure of information sensitively and carefully, and decide upon an appropriate response. We may share with third parties information received in the disclosure where we consider it necessary to do so.
- SAL investigators will uphold the following principles in carrying out investigations: Professionalism, Objectivity, Fairness, Expertise, Integrity.
- We will not normally inform a complainant about the outcome of an investigation.
- SAL staff will not engage with abusive complainants or persistent and repeated contacts from complainants as these reduce the time that can be dedicated to carrying out investigations. Where a complainant becomes abusive in the manner in which he/she corresponds with SAL, or persistently and repeatedly contacts SAL with no new evidence or information to bring to the investigation, SAL will class such correspondence/behaviour as vexatious.
We will always endeavour to keep a whistleblower’s identity confidential where asked to do so, although we cannot guarantee this and we may need to disclose your identity to:
- the police, fraud prevention agencies or other law enforcement agencies (to investigate or prevent crime, including fraud);
- the courts (in connection with court proceedings);
- another person to whom we are required by law to disclose your identity.
A whistleblower should also recognise that he or she may be identifiable by others due to the nature or circumstances of the disclosure.
Individuals who are concerned about being identified should discuss their concerns at the time of raising concern.