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Time to Transform


Why we launched a Third Sector pilot

Our Advice Line handles around 3,000 cases each year, from workers from all sectors, seeking advice on a wrongdoing they have seen or heard in their organisation. We know from our Advice Line that many charity workers do not feel safe about speaking up or are not confident their concerns will be listened to. Trust is still very much a thorny issue.

In the last three years calls to our Advice Line from the charity sector have risen from 12% in 2017 to 19% in 2019. Since January 2019, 60 charities have acquired our support packages, attended our training sessions or used our Whistleblowing Benchmark. We see this as a huge positive, but in a sector so vast in size and so important to all areas of society, there is still some way to go to in encouraging more charity workers to speak up and for charities to strive for best practice in whistleblowing. This is why we wanted to offer a small cohort of charities an access to our Whistleblowing Benchmark to test their whistleblowing culture.

In October 2019 more than 40 charities participated in a round table and panel debate where we launched the Third Sector pilot. Delegates were then invited to sign up to the pilot, with 20 charities completing the Benchmark through self-assessment. The pilot participants agreed their results would be collectively and confidentially analysed for this report.

About Protect

With more than 25 years expertise built through supporting over 40,000 whistleblowers through our Advice Line, we understand whistleblowing like nobody else.

The pilot findings

The pilot results, documented in Time to Transform: Insights from Protect’s Third Sector pilot found:

  • 62% of charities have appointed a whistleblowing champion
  • 90% of charities have a whistleblowing team
  • Only 52% of charities differentiated between whistleblowing and grievances
  • 86% of charities fail to offer whistleblowing training to staff receiving and acting on whistleblowing concerns

We thank all those who have been involved in the round tables and provided generous feedback.


What next?

We are very enthusiastic to continue our work with charities and champion positive change in the sector. We want to assist as many charities as possible with identifying gaps and sharing best practice so that we might transform our sector together.

  • We are calling on the 20 charities who have kindly completed our original pilot to spread the word about its benefits to 5 or more
    charities they may work closely with
  • Encouraging at least 100 charities to transform their approach to whistleblowing and undergo Protect’s Benchmark to assess their speak up culture


Download the Third Sector pilot report

Learn about our Whistleblowing Benchmark

Explore our training and consultancy options