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Should I whistleblow?

While you may initially feel uncomfortable blowing the whistle, it is important to think of other loyalties that are wider than immediate concerns. Think of people whose jobs could be at risk and think of the financial and reputational impact to your firm if the wrongdoing goes unreported.

Here are some things you might want to consider when a potential whistleblowing situation does arise.

  • Be clear about the facts of the case, write them down and add to that list as events unfold
  • Consider the situation from different perspectives. Could there be another legitimate reason for the events you’ve encountered? Are any grey areas material to what has happened, or peripheral?
  • Be objective and clear minded when recording what you’ve encountered. Stand back from the immediacy of events and take careful stock of what has been going on
  • Carefully weigh up how serious those events have been and whether there might be a simple way of resolving the situation
  • Compare what you’ve encountered with the commitments set out in the code of ethics of your firm and of the CII. Be clear about which ethical commitments are being undermined by the events you’ve encountered
  • Take stock of any involvement you may have had in the situation and how your own interests may be influencing your present thoughts. If your involvement is more than peripheral, should you be thinking of this as a complaint rather than blowing the whistle?
  • Consider discussing the situation with a trusted colleague or good friend. A second opinion is invariably reassuring and can sometimes frame a situation in new ways