The British Standards Institution (BSI) has created international guidance to help companies set up an effective whistleblowing management system.
The guidelines, released in July, provide companies with help establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving whistleblowing policies and procedures.
According to the BSI, the standard is intended to:
- Encourage and facilitate reporting of wrongdoing;
- Support and protect whistleblowers and other interested parties involved;
- Ensure reports of wrongdoing are dealt with in a proper and timely manner;
- Improve organizational culture and governance; and
- Reduce the risks of wrongdoing.
The guidance hopes to enable a company to identify and address wrongdoing at the earliest opportunity to help prevent or minimize any loss of assets (and/or recover them). It also seeks to help organizations ensure compliance with policies and procedures, as well as legal, regulatory, and social obligations.
The BSI hopes companies following the guidance will be able to attract and retain personnel committed to the organization’s values and culture.
The standard reinforces any effective whistleblower management system needs top management leadership and commitment to succeed. It also emphasizes the importance of internal communication, training, and regular reviews to assess its suitability, as well as monitoring how well managers have assessed and responded to (and escalated) whistleblower reports.
David Fatscher, the BSI’s head of environment, social, and governance (ESG) standards, said in a statement: “We are proud to have led the development of the first whistleblowing management system that can help organizations of all sizes to set-up and maintain a robust process. This is an important people-centric standard that can build organizational trust by encouraging a culture of openness, transparency, integrity, and accountability.”