Whistleblowing policy

Background and guide to use


1) Culture

One of the objectives of the Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure is the promotion of an environment and culture where individuals can feel safe in the knowledge that raising serious concerns will not result in any form of direct, indirect, or “soft” retaliation.

The University seeks to ensure that staff can approach managers with important concerns, that managers welcome and encourage workers to discuss their concerns and that students feel able to raise concerns without fearing reprisal.

2) The difference between making a complaint (or raising a grievance) and blowing the whistle

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.

When someone blows the whistle they raise a concern, either within the workplace or externally, about a dangerous practice, a risk, malpractice, wrongdoing 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.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has guidance on whistleblowing on its website:

3) 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:

For members of staff, information about Grievance Resolution can be found in Ordinance 42:

The Dignity at Work Policy (for staff) and the Dignity at Study Policy (for students) might also apply:

4) Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure

If, having read the above, you wish to make a whistleblowing disclosure, the steps described in Point 4) of the Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure can be followed.  If you have a question about this, please contact the Council Secretariat, contact details in 6) below.  If you do not feel that it is appropriate to make an internal disclosure, it is possible to blow the whistle to an external person.  The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy provides guidance and publishes a supporting document: “Blowing the whistle to a prescribed person List of prescribed persons and bodies”.

This is available at:

5) An Independent Opinion

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:

6) Further information

For further information about whistleblowing at the University of Kent, please contact the Council Secretariat.

Telephone:      01227 823903
Address:         Council Secretariat, Room 148, Registry, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ

Further information about whistleblowing can be found using the following link:

Published May 2018

Governance - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823903 or Contact us

Last Updated: 23/11/2020