Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

making the case for whistleblowing training


A visible and well-articulated whistleblowing policy is essential for creating an anti-fraud culture within organisations from across the public and private sectors. It demonstrates that you are committed to maintaining a transparent and accountable culture. It also shows that you take misconduct seriously and reinforces the understanding that employees are encouraged to disclose suspected malpractice and misconduct.

Rachael Tiffen, Head of CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre, said:

“Employees play a vital role in any organisation’s counter fraud armoury and they frequently drive and evolve workplace culture. The new whistleblowing e-learning package empowers staff to do the right thing if they witness any wrongdoing at work and it also covers why it’s important to create an environment where this is possible.

“Whistleblowing is not limited to a single industry or sector. Whistleblowing arrangements are a vital component of good governance and risk management for hospitals, banks, care homes, charities, and public services. The benefits of getting this right and listening to a concern raised can help to prevent disaster, avoid a costly legal claim and potentially preserve a reputation.”

From an ethical or motivational standpoint, people blow the whistle for a host of reasons: wanting to do the right thing, a need to promote accountability and justice, a sense of responsibility, to protect colleagues, protecting public funds and to preserve their job security. These are all valid, prevailing and positive reasons for whistleblowing. Some individuals may be reluctant to blow the whistle due to a lack of awareness of existing policies and procedures. Therefore you should train your staff on your firm's whistleblowing policy and effectively communicate its content and purpose. Through the process of training you are protecting and supporting employees who may wish to raise concerns by providing information on how to act, including raising the alarm outside of the usual channels, and what steps will be taken to protect them.

The CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre has worked with the leading whistleblowing charity, Public Concern at Work (PCaW) and audit, advisory, accounting and tax specialists Mazars to create an accessible, user friendly e-learning course covering the fundamentals of whistleblowing. Using scenario-led content and case studies, the course sets out how to raise and report concerns at work and aims to clear up ‘grey areas’ around processes, complaints and definitions. 

The course is suited for use in organisations where a whistleblowing policy already exists and aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of whistleblowing and why it is important. Staff will learn:

  • What whistleblowing is;
  • How best to blow the whistle/raise concerns;
  • Where staff can blow the whistle/raise concerns;
  • What to expect and how their organisation will support them;
  • Rights and options for support.

The new whistleblowing e-learning package empowers employees to act in the right way if they witness misconduct at work. From an employee perspective it shows that their employers are listening to their concerns and demonstrating effective leadership, creating a positive working environment.

We hope that this e-learning package will encourage a much needed change in culture and would urge organisations to rise to the challenge of achieving the gold standard in whistleblowing practice.

To learn more about the course, please click on the links below: