Whistleblowing Policy and Procedures
The Whistleblowing policy is for all volunteers who have a serious concern in regards to a breach of our standards or conduct. This policy makes sure that if a volunteer has a serious concern, they know how to raise it as soon as possible. The matter will be comprehensively investigated and the appropriate action taken.
In line with its values, The Scouts recognises its responsibility to deal fairly, constructively and consistently with expressions of concern or dissatisfaction from members and nonmembers, including parents and carers on behalf of themselves or their children.
As Scouts we’re guided by the values of integrity, respect, care, belief and co-operation.
When applying this policy, these values should be at the forefront of every interaction and decision that’s made, and all involved should be regularly reminded of them.
Focusing on the values of respect and care, the wellbeing and mental health of all involved when dealing with an expression of concern or dissatisfaction should be considered throughout. The ‘Supporting the wellbeing and mental health when a concern is raised’ webpage.
Where an individual has raised a concern or several concerns which, individually or collectively, could be classified under more than one of The Scouts’ policies, it may be decided to consider them all under the same policy. The Scouts has complete discretion to decide under which of its policies a concern should be considered and their decision in relation to this is final.
Adults in Scouting are from all walks of life, but one thing that unites our volunteers is the energy and enthusiasm they have for giving young people the adventure of Scouting. It’s the policy of The Scouts to provide a positive environment, as we know that everyone thrives in safe and supportive surroundings. We’re committed to making sure that The Scouts is enjoyable and safe for everyone involved.
Conduct which is reasonably likely to seriously harm the reputation of The Scouts, which does not appear above, will also be covered by this policy (such as breach of the codes of conduct set out in the code of behaviour – ‘Yellow Card’ – that is in the public interest).
If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a child or vulnerable adult, you must in the first instance follow the Safeguarding policy and the matter must be reported to the Safeguarding Team.
Crimes against a person or property should be reported immediately to the police.
Whistleblowing policy guidance
A volunteer who wishes to raise a concern that fits the criteria of a protected disclosure should follow the Whistleblowing policy. This includes if the incident is happening now, in the past or may happen in the future. It’s important that the concern is raised without delay. If any person or property is at immediate risk the police should be called immediately.
The Scouts takes the safety of our all our volunteers seriously and also values their reputation. Therefore, a report under the Whistleblowing policy will be treated with high importance. On receipt of a whistleblowing report, our procedures set out within this policy will be put into effect immediately.
The Scouts wants to make sure that any report is investigated fully and address the concerns without delay. It’s therefore essential that all volunteers respond promptly. Any volunteer or staff member contacted by an investigator in relation to a whistleblowing investigation should support that investigation by being open and
timely in the information provided.
Deliberate misuse of this procedure may lead to the implementation of mutually agreed restrictions, suspension or cancellation of role.
The independent whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work operates a confidential helpline.
Relevant websites and contacts
Charity Commission – Tel:0300 065 2199
Protect – Tel: 0203 117 2520; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NSPCC whistleblowing advice line for professionals
This policy is in-line with the Employment Rights Act 1996. The Act gives legal protection to employees. It does not apply to volunteers and members of charitable organisations. However, under this policy the same protection is given to our volunteers, provided the conditions are met for the policy to apply.
This policy is due for review:
- every 12 months, or;
- following any legislative changes, or;
- following any learning by The Scouts, or;
- as required by the Charity Commission, or;
- any change in jurisdictional guidance, whichever comes first.
The policy will be reviewed alongside other relevant policies by the Safeguarding Committee and revisions will be recommended to the Board of Trustees.