Whistleblowing is when someone reports suspected wrongdoing in their organisation. Everyone has the right to report things that aren’t correct, are illegal, or if they feel anyone is neglecting their duties. Whistleblowing allows individuals to raise issues of poor practice or misconduct without fear of reprisal. The concept of whistleblowing is important in any organisation that is committed to maintaining appropriate levels of safeguarding and good practice. In a parkrun context, someone may witness, or be told about, a situation of poor practice, a failure to safeguard, or an incident or alleged incident of abuse in which a fellow parkrunner is implicated.
parkrun is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and accountability. In line with that commitment, individuals are encouraged to come forward and voice any concerns they have about any aspect of a person’s safety and welfare. Concerns must never be ignored with the assumption that all will be well, or that it is someone else’s responsibility, and as such, should anyone have a concern, the Whistleblowing Policy should be followed without delay.
The parkrun Whistleblowing Policy
parkrun will not tolerate any harassment or victimisation and will take appropriate action to protect an individual when they raise a concern in good faith, however, it must be appreciated that the investigation process may reveal the source of the information and a statement by the whistleblower may be required as part of the evidence. Advance notice will always be given, and a chance offered to discuss any potential consequences.
If an individual makes an allegation in good faith, which is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against them. If, however, it is established that they have made fraudulent or malicious allegations, or done so for personal gain, parkrun will take appropriate action.
Concerns should be raised, in the first instance, with the Event or Run Director. Should the Event Director or Run Director be implicated in the concern, it should be raised directly with the parkrun Safeguarding Team via firstname.lastname@example.org. The whistleblower can put it in writing if they wish, in which case they should do the following:
- Set the background and history of the concern
- Specific reasons they are concerned
The Event or Run Director must inform the Safeguarding Team via email@example.com and not investigate the matter themselves.
The action taken by parkrun will depend on the nature of the concern.
The amount of contact between the people considering the issues and the whistleblower will depend on the nature of the matters raised, the potential difficulties involved and the clarity of the information provided. If necessary, other information will be sought from the whistleblower as part of the investigation process.
parkrun accepts that the whistleblower needs to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed. However, they must also consider that there will be times when, due to a need for confidentiality, certain information may not be shared with them. Subject to constraints and a need for confidentiality, they will receive information about the outcomes of any investigations, and the action that is to be taken against those whose actions caused them concern.
The whistleblower must, when instructed, keep any information shared with them confidential.
This policy is intended to provide individuals with a way in which they can raise concerns about the safety and welfare of anyone involved in parkrun. Should someone not be satisfied that any safeguarding issue raised has been considered appropriately, and if they feel it is right to take the matter outside of parkrun, they should contact the relevant external organisation in their country, for example, the police or child protection services.