Whistle Blowing for Trustees
• report serious concerns to the Charity Commission if you’re a trustee
The responsibility for trustees to report to the Charity Commission
The Charity Commission requires charities to report serious incidents. If a serious incident takes place within ETC of PWD, it is important that there is prompt, full and frank disclosure to the Commission. A trustee should report what happened and, importantly, let the Commission know how they are dealing with it, even if they have also reported it to the police, donors or another regulator. Any of the ETC of PWD trustees wishing to make a complaint against the charity might also consult Protect, a specialist whistleblowing charity, which can help explain: what types of wrongdoing you can report; legal rights; next steps if you decide to report something
Protect’s free and confidential advice line: Telephone: 0800 055 7214
They can also get advice from Citizens Advice.
What is a serious incident?
A serious incident is an adverse event, whether actual or alleged, which results in or risks significant:
• harm to ETC of PWD’s beneficiaries, staff, volunteers or others who come into contact with ETC of PWD through its work
• loss of your ETC of PWD’s money or assets
• damage ETC of PWD’s property
• harm to ETC of PWD’s work or reputation
Who should report?
The responsibility for reporting serious incidents rests with the ETC of PWD’s trustees. All trustees bear ultimate responsibility for ensuring their charity makes a report, and does so in a timely manner.
If you decide not to make a report about something serious that has happened in your charity and the Commission later becomes involved, you will need to be able to explain why you decided not to report it at the time.
Why must you tell the Commission?
Given the challenging nature of the work undertaken and the difficult context faced by many charities, the Commission understands that serious incidents will happen. When something serious happens, it is the Commission’s role to ensure that trustees comply with their legal duties and that the charity manages the incident responsibly. This means the Commission will be looking for assurance that the charity has taken steps to limit the immediate impact of the incident and, where possible, prevent it from happening again.
Most problems can be resolved by trustees themselves, in some cases with timely advice from professional advisers. Sometimes the Commission needs to use its powers to protect a charity. Taking action quickly will help protect your charity from further harm. Reporting also means the Commission can identify whether other charities might be affected, and can give better advice to all charities to help them protect themselves.
When to report
You should report an actual or alleged incident promptly. This means as soon as is reasonably possible after it happens, or immediately after your charity becomes aware of it.
Who to contact at ETC of PWD if you have a Whistle Blowing Concern.
Unless your concern is about an urgent Safeguarding risk (see above), then you should first register your concern with the charity in writing to the Safeguarding Manager.
ETC of PWD
The Old Stables, Coombe Farm,
Or by email:
For further details please see the ETC of PWD Whistleblowing Policy