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This policy should be read in conjunction with our Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (the Standards), Complaints Procedure Governing Members and Registrants, and Organisational Complaints Policy.
The legal definition of whistleblowing is a disclosure of information that, in the reasonable belief of the whistleblower, is made in the public interest and tends to show that
If you think that something is wrong, please report it. This can be about something that has happened in the past, is happening now, or that you believe may happen in future. We take such disclosures seriously. We recognise that this can lead to conflicts of interest, and our Board of Trustees supports offering legal protection to a member or volunteer who makes disclosures about the Association, where there is suspected wrongdoing or danger affecting any of our activities.
We understand that it can be challenging to raise concerns, and that people who blow the whistle are often treated detrimentally. We are committed to ensuring that members and volunteers will not suffer any disadvantage or blame as a result of disclosing or reporting.
This policy is designed to ensure that you are able to come forward and report legitimate concern, and we are committed to protect and support our members and volunteers when they raise concerns. As long as you hold a reasonable belief that the information is true, you will be covered by this policy regardless of whether the concern can be proved, or if you are mistaken.
The first step is to report the concern, and to give details of the issue. It may be decided at this stage to investigate, to refer to another body, or to take no further action. If an investigation takes place, we will keep you informed of the process, progress and outcomes.
If you become aware of potential or actual wrongdoing, or want to raise a concern, please inform a Trustee Director if you are able to do so. Please inform us of the best way to communicate with you. The President of the Board of Trustees can be contacted via email at president@BABCP.com.
If you are not able to disclose to a Board member, you may contact a member of BABCP staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need external advice on how to proceed or are unable to raise a concern within the Association, you can contact the independent Charity ‘Protect’.
Information disclosed under this policy will be treated in confidence and will be investigated. The person who you raise the concern to will listen to you, and make a record of the information you give to them and ensure that you have a copy. They will decide whether further action is needed. They may need more information, or to refer to another member of the Board, their advisors, a staff member or external agency to assist in investigation or agreeing next steps.
This will usually mean arranging a meeting with you to discuss the concerns. You will be invited to bring a supporter to any meeting held, such as a colleague or union representative, who understands and respects confidentiality. We will also have a ‘BABCP ‘Freedom to Speak Up Guardian’ who will usually be a member of our staff team or a volunteer member of BABCP, who can offer support during the process.
You should be protected and supported at all stages of the process, and should not experience any blame, disadvantage or detriment as a result of raising a concern under this policy, even if you are mistaken. If you suspect that this may be happening, please inform our 'Freedom to Speak Up Guardian’.
We will treat all whistleblowing confidentially, and do what we can to keep your identity secret, unless we are unable to do so for legal reasons. If you wish to raise a concern anonymously, this will be respected. It can be difficult to pursue concerns raised in this way if we don’t have enough information to complete an investigation. We encourage members to voice whistleblowing concerns as openly as possible, but recognise that anonymity may be needed.
We also expect you to maintain appropriate confidentiality while an investigation is ongoing.
If you are not satisfied with the explanation or reason given to you, you should raise the matter with the appropriate organisation or body, further details are given below.
We will try to keep you informed about the actions that we are taking in relation to the concern including how we propose to deal with the issues raised.
Once you have raised a concern, we will carry out an initial assessment to determine the scope of any investigation. You may be asked to attend additional meetings in order to provide further information. We will inform you of the outcome of our assessment.
In some cases, the Association may appoint an investigator to make recommendations for change to enable us to minimise the risk of future wrongdoings.
As far as possible, we will inform you of the outcomes. We may not be able to give you specific details of the investigation or outcomes in order to maintain confidentiality. We also may not be able to give you details of disciplinary actions taken.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation or the actions we propose to take, you can raise the concern with a relevant external body. Please see below for key examples.
Health and Safety Executive
Police – telephone 101
Public Concern at Work, operates a confidential helpline and can be contacted on 0207 404 6609
Social Services UK Call 0800 678 1602.