INSTITUTE OF HOSPITALITY AND AWARDING BODY WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY

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1 INSTITUTE OF HOSPITALITY AND AWARDING BODY WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY Version 0.2, Institute of Hospitality Trinity Court, 34 West Street, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 1SH Tel:+44(0) Company No Charity No

2 CONTENTS Page 1. Introduction 3 2. The law relating to whistleblowing 3 3. Whistleblowing procedure 4 What sort of activities should I disclose using this procedure? 4 How do I make a disclosure? 5 Independent advice 5 External contacts 6 Do I need proof of wrongdoing to make my disclosure? 6 Will the Institute protect my identity if I make a disclosure? 6 How will my report be investigated? 6 What can I do if I am unhappy with the way the Institute has dealt with my disclosure? 6 4. Confidentiality 7 5. Monitoring and evaluating the appeals policy 7 About the Institute of Hospitality 9 Contact details 9 Institute of Hospitality, 2014 Page 2 of 9

3 The purpose of the Institute of Hospitality Awarding Body s Whistleblowing Policy is to provide employees and external customers with details of the whistleblowing process to follow when submitting a disclosure to the Institute of Hospitality. The policy outlines information about assurance to employees and external customers; whistleblowing procedures; confidentiality issues; and, describes the Institute of Hospitality Awarding Body s monitoring and evaluation procedures. 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 The Institute of Hospitality (the Institute) Executive Council is committed to providing a framework for employees of the organisation or external customers to expose any misconduct or malpractice within the Institute This document sets out a procedure by which you can disclose concerns to the Executive Council. 1.2 The Executive Council and Chief Executive of the Institute are committed to maintaining the highest standards of honesty, openness and accountability and recognise that you have an important role to play in achieving this goal. For this reason this policy has been laid down and will form part of staff conditions of service. 1.4 Whistleblowing is a term used when an individual raises a genuine concern about suspected malpractice or wrongdoing and / or the covering up of malpractice or wrongdoing that they become aware of through their work which may affect others. 1.5 Employees will usually be the first to know when someone inside or connected with the organisation is doing something illegal or improper but often they feel apprehensive about voicing their concerns. This may be because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues or the organisation itself. Or it may be because they do not think that their concerns will be taken seriously because they are afraid they will be bullied or dismissed. However, the Institute does not believe that it is in anyone s interests for employees or external customers with knowledge of wrongdoing to remain silent. 1.6 The Institute takes all malpractice very seriously whether it is committed by senior managers, staff, suppliers or contractors. 1.7 Where the policy is annotated with reference to a Condition this refers to the conditions set out in General Conditions of Recognition by Ofqual which regulates the qualifications offered by the Institute of Hospitality Awarding Body (see 2.4 below). 1.8 This policy gives only general information and does not aim to offer definitive legal advice or details of how the whistleblowing provisions work in practice. 2. THE LAW RELATING TO WHISTLEBLOWING 2.1 The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 amended the Employment Rights Act 1996 and created a right to redress, enforceable by tribunal, in the event of a worker being subjected to Institute of Hospitality, 2014 Page 3 of 9

4 a detriment or dismissed by an employer as a result of whistleblowing. This policy outlines the protection available if a worker makes a whistleblowing disclosure. 2.2 Workers who blow the whistle on wrongdoing at work have a right not to be dismissed or suffer any detriment at work as a result of making a protected disclosure. To be protected by law, a worker must be making a disclosure of information which they reasonably believe is made in the public interest and which they reasonably believe tends to show one or more of the following had occurred or is likely to occur: i. A criminal offence. ii. Breach of any legal obligation. iii. A miscarriage of justice. iv. Danger to the health and safety of an individual. v. Damage to the environment. vi. The deliberate concealment of any of the above. 2.3 A worker will get protection most easily by disclosing such information to their employer. 2.4 However, as Ofqual is a prescribed person under the legislation, external persons to the Institute can instead make a disclosure to Ofqual if it relates to the development, delivery, and award of qualifications. If they want to make a disclosure to Ofqual the worker must also have reason to believe that the allegations are substantially true and that the allegations fall within the remit of Ofqual s statutory functions. 2.5 A disclosure will not be a protected disclosure if the worker making it: i. Does not do so in the interest of the public; ii. Commits a criminal offence in making it; iii. Has received the information in the course of providing legal advice (legally privileged information); or, iv. Does not make the disclosure in the reasonable belief that the content is substantially true. 3. WHISTLEBLOWING PROCEDURE What sort of activities should I disclose using this procedure? 3.1 It is impossible to give an exhaustive list of the activities that constitute misconduct or malpractice but broadly speaking the Institute would expect you to report the following: i. Criminal offences. ii. Failure to comply with legal obligations. iii. Miscarriages of justice. iv. Actions which endanger the health and safety of staff or the public. v. Actions which cause damage to the environment. vi. Matters relating to the development, delivery and award of regulated qualifications. vii. Actions which are intended to conceal any of the above. Institute of Hospitality, 2014 Page 4 of 9

5 3.2 It will not always be clear that a particular action falls within one of these categories and you will need to use your own judgement. However, the Institute would prefer you to disclose your concerns rather than keep them to yourself. If you make a disclosure in good faith then, even if it is not confirmed by an investigation, your concern will be valued and appreciated and you will not be liable to disciplinary action. However, if you make a false disclosure, maliciously or for personal gain, then you may face disciplinary action. How do I make a disclosure? 3.3 You can make a disclosure orally or in writing. The Institute would normally expect you to raise your concerns internally to either: i. Your Line Manager (or his or her superior); or, ii. Company Secretary. 3.4 Which of these individuals is the most appropriate to report to will depend on the seriousness of the malpractice and who you think is involved in your disclosure. If, under the circumstances, you do not feel comfortable about making a disclosure directly to management, then you can make your disclosure instead to the: i. Chair of the Executive Council or the Vice Chair of the Executive Council. 3.5 Please confirm if you want to raise the matter in confidence so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Independent advice 3.6 If you are unsure whether to use this procedure or you want independent advice at any stage, you may contact: i. The independent charity: Public Concern at Work 3 rd Floor, Bank Chambers 6 10 Borough High Street London SE1 9QQ Telephone Whistleblowing advice Line: General Enquires: UK Advice Line: UK Services: ii. iii. Website Your union or professional body; or, Independent legal advice. Institute of Hospitality, 2014 Page 5 of 9

6 External contacts 3.7 While the Institute hope that this policy gives you the reassurance you need to raise such matters internally, the Institute recognises that there may be circumstances, for example, where the wrongdoing is extremely serious, where it may be appropriate for you to report your concerns to an outside body, such as the police or Ofqual. Public Concern at Work (see 3.6 above) will be able to advise you on such an option and the circumstances in which you may be able to contact an outside body safely. Do I need proof of wrongdoing to make my disclosure? 3.8 The Institute does not expect you to have absolute proof of any misconduct or malpractice that you disclose. However, you will need to be able to show the reasons for your concern. Will the Institute protect my identity if I make a disclosure? 3.9 The Institute will do everything possible to keep your identity secret if you wish. However, there may be circumstances, for example, if your disclosure becomes the subject of a criminal investigation, wherein you may be needed as a witness. Should this be the case we will discuss the matter with you at the earliest opportunity. How will my disclosure be investigated? 3.10 Once you have made a disclosure (and the Institute has your details), the Institute will acknowledge receipt of it within five working days. If the Institute is able to look into your concerns the Institute will usually write to you within 10 working days The Institute will normally ask you to provide as much supporting information or details as you can to support your disclosure. However, we would not ask or expect you to proactively obtain any further information as this action may infringe the law. A member of the Institute s staff may arrange to contact you to gather further facts or to clarify your concerns There are, of course, two sides to every story and the Institute will need to make preliminary enquiries to decide whether a full investigation into your disclosure is necessary. If such an investigation is necessary, then, depending on the nature of the misconduct or malpractice, your concerns will be either: i. Investigated internally by management; or, ii. Referred to the appropriate external person, for example, our external auditors, Ofqual or the police, for investigation Subject to any legal constraints, the Institute will inform you of the outcome of the preliminary enquiries, full investigation, or any further action that has been taken. What can I do if I am unhappy with the way the Institute has dealt with my disclosure? 3.14 If you are unhappy with the outcome of an investigation into your disclosure, the Institute would prefer that you submit a report explaining why this is the case. Your concern will be investigated again if there is good reason to do so However, it may be that you do not think that this is appropriate and wish to raise your concern with an external organisation, such as a regulatory authority. Of course, it is open for you to do so provided you have sufficient evidence to support your concern. Institute of Hospitality, 2014 Page 6 of 9

7 3.16 The Institute strongly advises that before disclosing your concern externally, you seek advice from the organisation, Public Concern at Work (see 3.6, I, above for contact details) While the Institute cannot guarantee that it will respond to your disclosure in the way that you might wish, the matter will always be handled fairly, consistently, and transparently Evidence of a frivolous or vexatious disclosure or report will be dealt with seriously by the Institute under the appropriate procedure. 4. CONFIDENTIALITY 4.1 The Institute will treat any information sensitively and will, as far as we are able, treat the information confidentially. 4.2 The Institute will always endeavour to keep a whistleblower s identity confidential where asked to do so, although we cannot guarantee this and we may need to disclose your identity if required to do so by law. 4.3 You should also recognise that you may be identifiable by others due to the nature or circumstances of the disclosure, although we will endeavour to limit the risk of this where possible. 4.4 The Institute will consider each disclosure of information sensitively and carefully, and decide upon an appropriate course of action. We will look into anonymous whistleblowing disclosures. However, it may not always be possible to investigate or substantiate such disclosures. The Institute may share with third parties information received in the disclosure where we consider it necessary to do so. 4.5 We may not always treat an allegation as a whistleblowing disclosure as it may be more appropriate to treat the disclosure as a complaint. There may also be occasions where it is not appropriate for the Institute to investigate under the circumstances, for example, if the disclosure falls outside of the remit of a regulator. In this case we may recommend another course of action for the whistleblower to take. 5. MONITORING AND EVALUATING THE WHISTLEBLOWING POLICY 5.1 Records of all whistleblowing reports, their investigation, and their findings are archived by the Institute for a period of at least five years and are subject to regular monitoring and review. 5.2 The policy is subject to annual monitoring (Condition I1.1) and evaluation by the Institute Executive Council to make sure that improvements are made in line with the Institute s customer service commitments to maintain the highest possible standards of consistency and quality. 5.3 The policy is reviewed as part of the Institute s self-evaluation arrangements. It is revised as and when necessary in response to customer and learner feedback or requests from, or good practice guidance issued by the regulatory authorities, for example, to align with any appeals Institute of Hospitality, 2014 Page 7 of 9

8 and complaints process established by the regulatory authorities, such as Ofqual (Condition I2.1). 5.4 The policy is formally approved by the Institute s Executive Council, the supreme authority within the Institute in respect of the programmes of learning that it provides its customers. 5.5 The policy has been developed to comply with all relevant legislation. 5.6 The policy has been externally benchmarked to be in line with recognised best practice. 5.7 Any feedback is gratefully appreciated and can be sent to the Institute using the CONTACT DETAILS found on the following page. Institute of Hospitality, 2014 Page 8 of 9

9 Published by the Institute of Hospitality. This publication may not be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means except with the prior permission in writing of the publisher, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms and licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF HOSPITALITY The Institute of Hospitality represents professional managers in the hospitality and tourism industries and has a worldwide membership. The Institute of Hospitality is managed as an educational charity, and exists to benefit its members in their career and professional development, as well as continuing to improve industry sector standards. The primary purpose of the Institute of Hospitality is to: promote the highest professional standards of management and education in the international hospitality, leisure and tourism industries. The Institute of Hospitality Awarding Body is an awarding organisation regulated and accredited in England by: Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) in England CONTACT DETAILS For further information or guidance please contact: Institute of Hospitality Awarding Body Trinity Court 34 West Street Sutton, Surrey SM1 1SH United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0) Web: The Institute of Hospitality Awarding Body documents can be found on the Institute of Hospitality Awarding Body s website and virtual learning website or obtained directly from the Institute of Hospitality Awarding Body. Institute of Hospitality, 2014 Page 9 of 9

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