IQ Verify Whistle Blower Policy

IQ Verify’s Whistle Blower Policy is put in place to encourage and enable stakeholders to raise concerns so that IQ Verify is able to address and correct inappropriate conduct and actions.

Whistle-blowers are individuals who discover activities or information that they believe shows malpractice or wrongdoing by an organisation.

This policy and procedure is for all whistle-blowers, both internal (employees, directors, senior managers) and external (candidates, learning providers, customers, stakeholders). This policy abides by current law and codes of practice, in particular the The Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 2014 and is designed to encourage and protect whistle-blowers and ensure they are not disadvantaged in any way, shape or form, in their support of good corporate practices. 

Scope

This policy covers allegations of malpractice or wrongdoing, confirmation of which would be in the interests of IQV and its stakeholders. Such allegations might include, for example (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Malpractice or maladministration.
  • Improper conduct, unethical and/or illegal behaviour of learning providers, assessors, candidates, and IQV members of staff, directors or shareholders.
  • Failure to comply with legal obligations; criminal activity, financial malpractice, impropriety or fraud by learning providers, assessors, candidates, and IQV members of staff, directors or shareholders.
  • Attempts to conceal any of the above by the organisation.

Procedure for making and dealing with a disclosure

To ensure that IQ verify can take the appropriate action, it is important to provide as much evidence and information to back up your claim. 

In the first instance any disclosure should be made to the Operations Executive, who will decide an appropriate course of action to resolve the matter.

In the event that it is inappropriate for the matter is raised to the Operations Executive, it should be made to the Managing Director.

Action Taken

Matters reported will usually be acknowledged of receipt within 1 working day.

The credibility of the information and severity of the potential issue will be assessed in accordance with IQV’s Investigation Policy.

  • We may take a range of approaches to resolve the issue; including informal resolution, changes to policies and procedures, internal investigations, changes to learning provider’s focus / risk ratings or additional external quality assurance activities.
  • Where an issue reported falls outside IQV’s ordinary remit, IQV may request that the information is provided to another relevant party. IQV has to inform another awarding body if it becomes aware of an incident that may lead to a potential adverse effect at their organisation.
  • Where IQV has reason to suspect that there is a potential of criminality, IQV will always report this to the appropriate regulatory or statutory body for further investigation. This may be made on behalf of the whistle blower anonymously.
  • IQV may dismiss the concern if we feel that the evidence presented is not credible or does not allow IQV to take further action.  

Safeguards of the Policy

Protection - This policy offers protection to individuals who make disclosures in the interests of IQV, its stakeholders and the public, provided that these are made in good faith, and in the reasonable belief that the conduct indicates malpractice, maladministration or criminality.

Confidentiality - IQV will treat all such disclosures in a confidential and sensitive manner. Individuals are encouraged to put their name to any disclosures they make rather than seek anonymity as it may not be practicable to address the particular issue or concern without this information. The identity of the individual making the allegation will not be disclosed to the alleged without first seeking the individual’s consent for disclosure. However, the investigation process may need to reveal the source of the information to appropriate statutory or regulatory entities to ensure the conclusion of the investigation, and the individual making the disclosure may be required to provide a statement as part of the evidence required.

Untrue allegations - Where an individual makes an allegation in good faith, but the matter is proven incorrect or cannot be proven by subsequent investigations, no action will be taken against that individual for the disclosure.

Vexatious allegations - However, if an individual persists or repeatedly makes malicious or vexatious allegations, legal and/or disciplinary action may be taken against the person concerned. Any allegations proven to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offence.