Police Scotland published its first Whistleblowing Policy and supporting Guidance in June 2017 to sit alongside our ‘Integrity Matters’ reporting process (Anonymous Reporting). These documents were developed with the aim of providing an environment where individuals would feel confident in raising concerns openly when they reasonably believed that wrongdoing was being or had been done.
Recognising potential gaps in provision, I, in my role as Chief Inspector within the Professional Standards Department of Police Scotland, was tasked shortly thereafter with revising the guidance and in procuring external expertise to provide an independent advice line and to assist the Force in the design and delivery of a bespoke training package for our officers and staff.
Through research and attendance at seminars and conferences in England, Police Scotland became aware of the work of Protect and the external services already available within the UK for individuals and companies/bodies. Having determined what Police Scotland was looking to achieve, as detailed above, we engaged in a formal procurement process and Protect were successful in their bid.
The staff at Protect have always been professional and helpful. The support provided through the development and delivery of training was exemplary, both in personal attendance here in Scotland for courses for selected personnel on two occasions, and in the development of our Intranet based ‘Moodle’ Package, which is a mandatory training package for all officers and staff. This, coupled with the provision of the ongoing Advice Line and a Whistleblowing Benchmark review of our new processes has ensured that Police Scotland is best placed to facilitate and support anyone who wishes to report wrongdoing within our organisation.
Clarke L Callaghan
Chief Inspector, Professional Standards, Police Scotland
Protect were approached by Gloucestershire County Council to conduct an independent review of its whistleblowing arrangements following an inspection of its children’s services, which were rated ‘inadequate’ in June 2017. At the time, 33 children’s services departments across England were rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, so Gloucestershire was not alone in facing such concerns.
The Ofsted report highlighted significant shortcomings in social care practice relating to children and young people. As part of their findings, inspectors uncovered concerns about the culture of children’s services, commenting on the integrity of some senior management, with some staff left feeling, “vulnerable, unsupported and fearful of challenging or exposing poor practice.”
Following the review, Protect provided a report of in-depth next steps for council wide improvements which have been enthusiastically adopted.
We loved the discussion and interactive style, and everybody got so much more out of it than they would have done from content just presented ‘at’ them.
All the case studies were very thought provoking and tailored. They took a long time to work through, but we can see how that was necessary to bring the learnings back to the fundamental points.
There was a lot of information to take on board, but it didn’t feel overwhelming because of the way it was presented, and the way we were involved. We will be using this as a launch pad to catalyse further thinking.
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What our training delegates say
Good content, great presenter who clearly knew the subject matter. It made me think about whistleblowing from all perspectives.
Online training delegate, September 2020
Having time to discuss with others in the same sector was helpful and insightful. Very well run, the best ‘virtual’ experience I’ve had with an external organisation – no technical issues!
Online training delegate, September 2020
It flowed well and had the right balance of presentation and activity.
Online training delegate, March 2020