Renfrewshire Council

Whistleblowing guidance for staff

What whistleblowing is, who can report it, information and guidance on whistleblowing, how to report it, what to tell us, what happens next, if a colleague makes a whistleblowing report to you.

What whistleblowing is

If you work for or with the Council, you can report certain types of wrongdoing (whistleblowing) if it is in the public interest.

'In the public interest' means if it affects other people, such as our service users or members of the public.

These are complaints that are considered wrongdoing:

  • criminal offences like theft, fraud, bribery, corruption or money laundering
  • failure to comply with any legal or professional obligation or regulatory requirements
  • a miscarriage of justice
  • danger to someone's health and safety, like workers or service users
  • damage to the environment
  • you believe someone is covering up or withholding information about wrongdoing.

Personal grievances, for example bullying, harassment or discrimination, are not covered by whistleblowing law, unless they are in the public interest.

Who can report a concern

Anyone who provides a service for the Council can report a problem in the workplace.

This includes:

  • Council employees
  • other people working on behalf of the Council
  • officers and elected members
  • consultants
  • contractors
  • volunteers
  • casual workers
  • agency workers.

If you're a member of the public, you can make a complaint about Renfrewshire Council if you have an issue with our staff or services.

If you have a concern about fraud, you can report suspected fraud to us.

Information and guidance on whistleblowing

You can get more information and guidance about reporting a concern in our Whistleblowing policy [149KB]  including:

  • What whistleblowing is
  • Procedure for raising a whistleblowing concern
  • Raising a whistleblowing concern to elected members
  • Confidentiality and anonymity
  • External disclosures
  • Protection and support for whistleblowers
  • False reporting
  • Responsibility and training
  • Monitoring and review
  • Contacts.

How to report it

Call us on 0300 300 1314 or email us at

You can attach any evidence you have to your email, or send it by post to:

Private and confidential
Chief Auditor
Internal Audit
Renfrewshire House
Cotton Street

You can also contact the designated whistleblowing officer in your directorate:

What to tell us

Tell us as soon as possible and give us as much information as you can, including:

  • details of the suspected wrongdoing
  • what is happening or has happened
  • when and where it happened or is happening
  • how you become aware of it
  • any other details that might be relevant
  • your contact details including your name, address, email and a contact phone number

If you know who the person or people involved are, give us any details you have about them including:

  • their name
  • what service or department they work for in the council
  • where they live or work 
  • a description of what they look like.

What happens next

For concerns that are considered whistleblowing, you are protected by law under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

This means you shouldn't be treated unfairly or lose your job because you reported the problem.

Any information you tell us will be treated seriously and confidentially. We will investigate the matter, you should not.

You have the right to remain anonymous. However, providing your details will help us if we need to contact you about your concerns.

We may not be able to investigate it if we don't have all the information we need. We will also not be able to tell you the outcome of our investigation if you choose to report it anonymously.

You can see how we handle your data in our privacy policy.

If a colleague reports a concern to you

If someone you work with  makes a whistleblowing report to you, send the details to the designated whistleblowing officer in your service or to us at


  • what service it relates to 
  • what the allegations are and any details you have 
  • who your designated whistleblowing officer is
  • the date you reported it to them
  • how it was reported to you, for example by email, letter or verbally    
  • the date you sent acknowledgement to the person making the report - this must be within five days of them telling you
  • the contact details of the person reporting the whistleblowing.

If no contact details are provided, we can't let the person who reported it to you know we have received it.