Whistleblowing training can help improve business compliance with anti-fraud and anti-discrimination legislation, as well as dovetailing into an organisations' Environmental Social Governance (ESG) policy.
It's needed because whistleblowing is often such a unique situation that without training, both whistleblowers and untrained whistleblowing reporting managers, can feel like they're 'working it out as they go along'.
Being outside your comfort zone can be unsettling enough, but there can be real-world consequences... fines... court cases.... stress... loss of reputation, to name just a few... for not following whistleblowing procedures, both for the whistleblower and the organisation.
That's why whistleblowing training is so important and should be considered by most companies and charities with more than fifty employees.
What is whistleblowing training?
For employees any whistleblowing training is designed to encourage them to recognise wrongdoing in the workplace, and to give them the confidence that any whistleblowing report they make will be treated discretely, fairly, without favour, and crucially, is not going to get them fired, hated by their colleagues, or even worse... physically harmed.
For managers who receive whistleblowing reports, whistleblowing training shows them how to respond to the reporter, any potential evidence of wrongdoing, and what steps to take in a professional and even-handed manner.
What options are there for training investigators and potential whistleblowers?
Any good trainer will provide whistleblowing training in a variety of formats these days.
The main training channels are:
- Classroom training – the traditional format, where the whistleblowing training takes place either at the business or organisation, or at a venue chosen by agreement with the trainer. Classroom whistleblowing training is – of course – limited by the size of the room but has higher impact due to the increased opportunity to interact.
- Online training – where whistleblowing training takes place through a suitable online software such as Teams or Zoom. Whistleblowing online training is ideal to reach a geographically spread workforce or management team.
- eLearning – where the employee or manager being trained learns exclusively online at their own pace, using a whistleblower course that can be saved and re-sat as needed. This style of whistleblowing training is perfect for high numbers of new employees; where the workforce is geographically spread; or where the trainees cannot be brought together because or prior commitments, shift systems, or differing time zones.
What are the benefits of external whistleblower training?
An external training provider should always be the preferred option when it comes to whistleblowing training.
For one simple reason - using an external training provider lowers the risk of misunderstanding legislation and methodology
- Not everyone can or could possibly want to have full awareness of the ramifications of the The?Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and The?Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) of 1998.
- Only an external whistleblowing trainer has the in-depth knowledge to cover all aspects of the legislation, the whistleblowing policies that need to be introduced, and a clear understanding of the processes that have to be followed precisely.
- An external trainer also has the experience to help both whistleblowers and report managers avoid the many errors that can take place during the reporting, assessment and investigation.
- By searching for an outsourced whistleblowing training supplier, HR Managers, General Counsels and other senior management are guaranteed to be trained by whistleblowing specialists.
Whistleblowing training for employees is necessary, both in terms of encouraging the prevention or mitigation of wrongdoing in the workplace... but whistleblowing training for managers is absolutely essential if you want to minimise the risk of running foul of the many legislative pitfalls that await the unwary.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.