This statement outlines the steps to be taken should any learner, employer or staff member suspect something happening at work which is putting themselves or others in danger or is illegal or unethical.
Our aim is to maintain the highest standards of integrity in everything we do but we recognise that organisations can occasionally be affected by conduct that is dangerous, against the law or breaches ethical or professional codes. Should you have such concerns, we encourage you to report them immediately - this is called ‘whistleblowing’. You can be assured that we will take your concerns seriously, they will be thoroughly investigated, and you can be confident there will be no reprisals.
The types of concerns you may want to raise with us by whistleblowing include:
In most cases, you should start by raising your concerns with your manager, either face-to-face or in writing. If you would prefer not to go to your in-work mentor or your in-work mentor fails to address all your concerns, you should escalate to Firebrand. You should also do this if your concerns are of a very serious nature. The Designated Safeguarding Officer is:
Shaun Donaghy, Head of Apprenticeship Quality
Your concerns will be addressed fairly, but we cannot guarantee the outcome of our investigations will be the one you want. If you are not satisfied with how we have conducted the investigations, you can take the matter to one of our board directors for further consideration.
There is a significant difference between wanting to keep your concerns confidential and making a disclosure anonymously. We actively discourage anonymous whistleblowing.
You are always encouraged to raise concerns openly and if you prefer to do so in confidence we will do all that we can to ensure your identity remains hidden. We may want to disclose your identity to people involved in the investigation, but will always discuss this with you first.
You are protected from reprisals under the associated Whistleblowing Policy (available upon request) but if you are still worried we encourage you to discuss this with us and we will explore how far we can go in keeping your concerns confidential.
Concerns raised anonymously are very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to investigate. We can’t properly establish whether your allegations are credible without being able to ask you for more details or for clarification, and this makes it hard to reach an informed decision. This is why we urge you not to report matters anonymously.
If you raise a concern in good faith under this policy, we will support you fully even if we find through our investigations that you made a mistake. However, if you feel you have been treated detrimentally as a result of raising a concern, you should escalate to Firebrand. First inform your in-work mentor and, if the matter remains unresolved, you must follow the formal process in our grievance procedure.
All whistleblowers are afforded the same protection, so you must not threaten others who have raised concerns. You may face disciplinary action if we find that you have.
You can seek further advice on whistleblowing, protecting confidentiality, and being protected from reprisals from the independent charity Public Concern at Work, which offers a confidential helpline on 020 7404 6609; www.pcaw.org.uk.