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Whistleblowing Policy

This is a copy of the University’s Whistleblowing Policy and applies to everyone who is a registered student, member of staff, or anyone contractually connected with the University.

Whistleblowing is speaking up about certain types of actual or potential wrongdoing that you have seen or know about whilst at work, that may cause a danger to others or be illegal.

Introduction

We are committed to honesty, integrity, openness and accountability and we expect all our students and staff to maintain high standards in accordance with our policies and procedures. We know, however, that all organisations face the risk of things going wrong or of unknowingly harbouring illegal or unethical conduct. A culture of openness and accountability is essential to prevent such situations occurring or address them when they do occur.

The aims of this policy are to:
  • Encourage you, whether student, staff, or anyone contractually connected to the University, to report your concerns about a suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible in the knowledge that your concerns will be taken seriously, investigated appropriately and confidentiality respected.
  • Provide you with guidance as to how to raise your concerns.
  • Reassure you that you should be able to raise genuine concerns without fear of reprisals, even if they turn out to be mistaken.
Type of concerns to be reported:
  • Breaches of law or regulation e.g. health and safety obligations of the University
  • Criminal offences e.g. fraud or bribery
  • General malpractice e.g. immoral or unethical
  • Financial or procedural irregularity
  • Academic malpractice

Raising a whistleblowing concern

We encourage students to raise any of the concerns listed above with either their personal tutor or Head of Department in the first instance. Staff should contact their Head of Department in the first instance.

Where this is not possible your concern should be reported to the Secretary to Council using the following email address secretarytocouncilpa@warwick.ac.uk or calling 024 761 51957, making it clear that you are raising your concern within the University’s Whistleblowing Policy. All concerns raised will be acknowledged and recorded within 5 working days.

Depending on the nature of the concern, it will be reviewed and where appropriate, an investigation process will be started. Where possible, feedback will be provided to you regarding the concern you have raised.

Flow diagram of whistleblowing procedure

Confidentiality

We hope that you will feel able to voice concerns openly under this policy. However, if you want to raise your concern confidentially, we will ensure that we do not reveal your identity to anyone other than those involved in investigating your concerns. If it becomes necessary for anyone else to know your identity in order to adequately investigate the concern we will discuss this with you first.

Raising a concern anonymously

Raising your concern anonymously does make it more difficult to investigate it properly as more information may be required from you. However, if you are concerned about possible reprisals if your identity is revealed, you should still report your concern to the Secretary to Council who will consider whether it can be appropriately considered and investigated anonymously.

Support

It is understandable that you may be worried about possible repercussions if you raise a concern. The law provides protection for whistleblowers, who report genuine concerns, to ensure you are not treated unfairly by raising a concern. We encourage openness and will support you if you raise a genuine concern under this policy, even if it turns out to be mistaken.

You should be aware that if your allegations are malicious, or motivated by personal gain we may consider taking disciplinary action against you.

Raising a concern externally

The aim of this policy is to provide an internal mechanism to report, investigate and remedy any wrongdoing in the workplace. In most cases you should not find it necessary to alert anyone externally. We strongly encourage you to seek advice about whistleblowing and the extent of the protection available for whistleblowers before reporting a concern to anyone externally. You can do this by using the following email address secretarytocouncilpa@warwick.ac.uk or calling 024 761 51957.

The independent whistleblowing charity, Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work), operates a confidential helpline which provides free, independent and confidential advice. The UK helpline is 020 3117 2520.

Not sure your concern is covered by the Whistleblowing Policy?

There are a number of policies and procedures which cover a wide range of issues, these include:
Staff Grievances, the Staff Disciplinary Policy and Procedure, Dignity at Warwick, Academic Appeals, Student Discipline, Student Sexual Misconduct, Student Academic Complaints, Research Misconduct, Student’s Complaints Resolution Procedure.