Induction Standards for Northern Ireland
Standard 5: Recognise and respond to abuse and neglect: Whistleblowing
People who use service have a right to good quality care, free from harm. On occasion, staff may act inappropriately and this can cause harm to service users. These actions can be illegal or deliberate wrong-doing, for example, a staff member may abuse a service user. It can also be poor practice whereby they do not undertake tasks correctly and place people who use services at risk. If you have concerns that someone is doing something wrong in your workplace you have a duty to report this. The act of reporting is commonly called ‘whistleblowing’, and involves disclosing to someone in authority some form of wrong-doing in the workplace. It may involve reporting on the actions of a colleague or someone more senior to you. Concerns can be reported to a supervisor or manager, although if your concern involves them you may need to talk to someone else. Significant concerns about the practices or policies of an organisation may be reported externally to a regulator such as the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.
Look at the following resources:
- Have a look at Guide to whistleblowing for social workers and care staff by community care on
- The Minister for Health in Northern Ireland issued guidance for health and social care staff about your right to whistleblow
- Your employer should have a whistle blowing policy. Make sure you understand it and discuss anything you don’t understand with your supervisor.
Check your understanding
- Why do think it is important that a care worker needs to know about whistle blowing procedures?
Did you know?
- You are protected under the law if you reveal to those in positions of authority, or 'blow the whistle on' suspected malpractice at work.
Record what you have learned
- Your organisation may have a Learning Record Form. If so, use that to write down what you have learned and any questions you might have. Otherwise you can use our Learning Record Form.