Background and guide to use
1) The difference between making a complaint and blowing the whistle
When someone blows the whistle they raise a concern about a dangerous practice or an illegal act that might have an effect on other people. The whistleblower is not usually personally affected by the danger or illegality, but is raising an issue to alert others. In the University context this might include an action which does not adhere to approved policies, procedures or regulations.
If someone wishes to make a complaint or to raise a grievance, they consider that they have themselves been poorly treated and so have a vested interest in the outcome of the complaint.
2) University Complaints and Grievance Procedures
If you wish to make a complaint or raise a grievance, the University has the following documents in place:
The University has a Complaints Procedure for Students:
Information about raising a grievance for members of staff can be found on the Human Resources website:
The Dignity at Work Policy (for staff) and the Dignity at Study Policy (for students) might also apply:
3) Whistleblowing Procedure
If, having read the above, you wish to make a whistleblowing disclosure, the steps below can be followed:
- In the normal course of events, concerns should be raised as soon as possible via line managers, Heads of Schools or professional service departments, or at official committees or through staff representatives, including the accredited trades unions.
- If you feel that raising a concern in the way set out in (a) could jeopardise someone’s position or was inappropriate, then concerns could be raised using the Whistleblowing Policy.
- An internal disclosure may be made under the Whistleblowing Policy using the following approach:
- Allegations about an individual’s financial conduct should be made to the Director of Finance, Finance Department, Registry, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ or to the email address for the Director of Finance’s PA, email@example.com.
- Allegations about other issues (and about (i) if it is considered inappropriate to contact the Director of Finance) can be made to the Vice-Chancellor (email address firstname.lastname@example.org), the Secretary of the Council (email address Councilsecemail@example.com) or the Chair of the Council (via the email address Councilsecfirstname.lastname@example.org). If all of these are deemed inappropriate then the allegation should be made to the Chair of the Audit Committee (again via the email address Councilsecemail@example.com).
- If the whistleblower wishes to contact any of those listed in (ii) above by post, the Council Secretariat’s address can be used (see below). Any post received will be immediately forwarded to the appropriate person.
- If any correspondence is received by the University regarding a whistleblowing disclosure, receipt will be acknowledged as soon as possible.
- It is possible to blow the whistle to an external person. The Department for Business Innovation & Skills provides guidance and publishes a supporting document: “Blowing the whistle to a prescribed person – List of prescribed persons and bodies”. This is available at:
4) Public Concern at Work
Public Concern at Work (PCAW), the whistleblowing charity, offers advice on raising a concern at work. It is an independent charity which can be contacted via telephone (0207 404 6609) or via its website:
5) Further information
For further information about whistleblowing at the University of Kent, please contact the Council Secretariat.
Further information about whistleblowing can be found using the following link: