Key elements of an effective whistleblowing mechanism

A whistleblowing – or internal reporting – mechanism is a set of policies or procedures within an organisation which establish not just effective channels but comprehensive protection and support for reporting persons. Transparency International identifies three key elements for protected individuals and disclosures: the provision of accessible and reliable reporting channels; robust protection from all forms of retaliation; and mechanisms for disclosures that promote reforms that correct legislative, policy or procedural inadequacies and prevent future wrongdoing.[1]

An internal reporting mechanism can take various forms. Organisations may make line management the first port-of-call for those raising a concern, or appoint a specialised person or committee to be responsible for receiving and processing reports. They may also outsource to a provider offering services, such as whistleblowing helplines or hotlines and advice, or employ a combination of in-house and outsourced elements.  

A review of available best practice literature reveals some characteristics commonly associated with robust internal reporting mechanisms for public, private and non-profit sector organisations.


Close search

Responsive versions of the site in progress.