Whistle Blowing Policy

Version 1, July 2013
Version 1, July 2013
1. Policy Statement
WAMITAB is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and integrity for the
benefit of its approved centres, learners and the public at large.
1.1 The aims of the Policy
To encourage WAMITAB learners and approved centre staff to report wrong doings, in the
knowledge that their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated as appropriate and
that their confidentially will be respected.
To make guidance available to those who wish to report wrong doings.
2. What is Whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is different from a complaint or an employment dispute. When a worker reports
suspected wrong doing at work – this is ‘Whistleblowing’. Officially this is called ‘making a disclosure
in the public interest’. Whistleblowers are protected for public interest, to encourage individuals to
speak out if they find malpractice in the workplace.
Centre staff may decide to make a whistleblowing disclosure to us to prevent harm or to hold a
centre to account.
3. Other related definitions
3.1 Informants
The Oxford Dictionary definition of informant is – a person who gives information to another.
Technically, as learners are not classed as workers they are not classed as whistleblowers.
3.2 A complaint is an expression of personal dissatisfaction which will be handled according to
WAMITAB’s complaints procedure.
3.3 An employment dispute is where an employee has a dispute about his/her own employment
position or contract. WAMITAB will not take any action over grievances of this nature.
4. What to do before making a whistleblowing disclosure to
If you feel that you would like to blow the whistle regarding an issue related to the provision of
WAMITAB qualifications, here are some guidelines to follow to protect yourself.
 Think about the risks before your act.
 Tell no – one that you are unhappy or intend to whistleblow. Centre/assessment site gossips
may give something away without thinking. So if you really have to tell someone be certain
you can you can trust them.
 Do not make the telephone call from the centre.
 Do not email from the centre using your personal email account. Create a separate
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email account using another laptop or computer.
 Documentary evidence is critical, if you can photocopy any documents which may be
relevant, these may be useful.
 Act as you always do. Don’t give yourself away by doing so saying new or different
 You may wish to take independent legal advice or contact Whistleblowers UK which may be
accessed at http://whistleblowersuk.org/tags/wbuk
5. Identity of whistleblowers and informants
5.1 The identity of whistleblowers and informants will not normally be disclosed without their
permission. There are some circumstances where we may have to disclose your identity such as:
When the police or other government enforcement agencies become involved
The courts (in connection with proceedings)
5.2 A whistleblower should be aware that he/she may be identifiable by others due to the nature or
circumstances of the disclosure.
6. Anonymous allegations
These may be reported to WAMITAB; however WAMITAB can only act on the allegation if it has
sufficient details to identify the centre.
7. How to contact WAMITAB to make a disclosure:
By email:[email protected]
By Fax: 01604 232457
By Phone: 01604 231950
Whistleblowers are encouraged to provide WAMITAB with the following information The name of the centre
The number of learners affected and if possible some names of these learners
A detailed account of the concerns related to the provision of WAMITAB qualifications.
8. On receipt of your disclosure, WAMITAB will:
Consider the disclosure and will conduct background research and decide upon the most
appropriate course of action.
WAMITAB will normally inform the whistleblower of the outcome of their action by advising that
there was either substance to the disclosure or no- substance to the disclosure.
As the findings are likely to be commercially sensitive WAMITAB would not be in a position to
divulge the findings.
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9. Legal Aspects:
9.1 Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA)
This is also known as the Whistleblowing Act. It provides protection to "workers" making disclosures
in the public interest and allows such individuals to claim compensation for victimisation following
such disclosures.
Further information regarding PIDA may be accessed at www.pcaw.org.uk
9.2 Employment status
‘Workers’ at WAMITAB Approved Assessment Centres may wish to ‘blow the whistle’ about the
malpractice or wrongdoing and /or the covering up of malpractice or wrongdoing. The malpractice
or wrongdoing may be committed by the ‘worker’s’ employer (the Head of Centre or colleagues at
the centre)
Assessors, Internal Verifiers and Centre Co-ordinators are protected if their employment status is
that of a worker, which means that:
 they have to perform work or services personally and cannot send a substitute or subcontract the work,
 they are not undertaking the work as part of their own business (the centre is one of their
own clients),
 they have core employment rights and are protected for ‘whistleblowing’.
9.3 Protection for ‘blowing the whistle’
Assessors, Internal Verifiers and Centre Co-ordinators are protected if they are:
 ‘a worker’,
 believe that malpractice at the workplace is happening, has happened in the past or will
happen in the future,
 are revealing information of the right type (a qualifying disclosure),
 reveal it to the right person and in the right way (making it a protected disclosure).
9.4 Qualifying disclosures
To be protected as a ‘whistleblower’ the worker needs to make a ‘qualifying disclosure’ about
malpractice. This could be a disclosure about:
 criminal offences,
 failure to comply with a legal obligation,
 miscarriage of justice,
 threats to an individual’s health & safety,
 damage to the environment,
 a deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above.
9.5 Protected disclosures
For a disclosure to be protected by the law the worker should make it to the right person and in the
right way. Workers must:
• make a disclosure in good faith (which means with honest intent and without malice),
• reasonably believe that the information is substantially true,
• reasonably believe that the disclosure is being made to the right ‘prescribed person’.
If a qualifying disclosure is made in good faith to the employer, or through a process which the
employer has agreed, workers are protected.
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If the worker feels that they are unable to make a disclosure to their employer then there are other
‘prescribed people’ workers can make a disclosure to.
The worker may choose to seek legal advice; in this case anything shared with the legal adviser is
automatically protected.
9.6 Workers will not be protected if:
There are some disclosures that cannot be ‘qualifying disclosures’ and the worker will not be
protected for whistleblowing if:
 they break the law when making a disclosure,
 the information is protected under legal professional privilege.
9.7 Guidance from Ofqual
Ofqual is a ‘prescribed regulator’.
9.8 Ofqual’s Whistleblowing Policy March 2012 (Ofqual/12/5143) states‘that it does receive whistleblowing disclosures from workers in centres and learners or parents
regarding a centre’s malpractice’.
Additional this policy states;
‘For Centre staff- if you wish to make a whistleblowing disclosure to someone outside of your
organisation, you should normally consider making the disclosure to the awarding organisation that
has approved the centre to deliver the qualification(s) in question.
You may also contact us, but we will normally ask the relevant awarding organisation to investigate
and report the subject of the disclosure’.
9.9 WAMITAB advising OFQUAL
If WAMITAB receives a disclosure about malpractice directly from a whistleblower, as with any
allegation of suspected malpractice, the Qualifications Manager, will advise Ofqual at the
appropriate stage.
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Peterbridge House
3 The Lakes
Tel: 01604 231950
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.wamitab.org.uk
Version 1, July 2013