A new set of guidelines for whistleblowing management systems are being developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), with a planned completion date of 2021.

What is ISO37002?

ISO 37002 will “provide guidelines for implementing, managing, evaluating, maintaining and improving a robust and effective management system within an organization for whistleblowing.”

The International Standard is applicable to organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. It will apply to organisations of all sizes, including SMEs as well as those with international operations, and is non-sector specific.

Why is the standard being developed?

In recent years, several high-profile corporate whistleblowing cases have generated significant public and media attention.

It’s clear the need for a standardised whistleblowing framework is long overdue. This will not only help protect whistleblowers, but also to help change negative perceptions of whistleblowing.

In September 2016, ISO/TC 309 Governance of Organisations was established to address “standardization in the field of governance relating to aspects of direction, control and accountability of organizations”.

Scope

ISO 37002 will provide guidelines for organisations with a whistleblowing programme in place to help them ensure it’s effective.

The standard will be based upon three principles: Trust, Impartiality and Protection. It will aim to guide organisations in managing their whistleblowing policy and programme in the following areas:

  • How concerns of wrongdoing are identified and reported
  • How concerns of wrongdoing are assessed
  • How concerns of wrongdoing are addressed
  • How whistleblowing cases are closed

Summary

The proposed ISO 37002 Management Systems Standard will help organisations build a culture of openness where employees and suppliers feel confident in the whistleblowing process. This will empower them to raise their concerns knowing that they will be protected and their concerns taken seriously.

The proposed International Standard is not due for completion until 2021 which provides organisations time to prepare by mapping out their current whistleblowing policy and procedures.

More information about the ISO 37001 standard can be found on the ISO website.

Will your Speak Up service meet the standard?

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