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What is Ethics Escalation (“Whistle-Blowing”) Policy - Corporate Responsibility

#1
Hi all

what is Ethics escalation policy(“whistle-blowing policy”)?:frust: :frust:

IATF 16949:2016

5.1.1.1 Corporate responsibility

The organization shall define and implement corporate responsibility policies, including at a minimum an anti-bribery policy, an employee code of conduct, and an ethics escalation policy.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#3
Hi all

what is Ethics escalation policy(“whistle-blowing policy”)?
ethics escalation is the process of allowing an employee or an interested party to report unethical conduct above and beyond their direct line managers. Typically, an escalation process also requires that any alleged violation is communicated to appropriate personnel, e.g., the head of the legal compliance function. In order to preserve the anonymity of the employee, many companies have an ombudsman that serves the purpose of receiving information on alleged ethical breaches.

The fact that such corporate responsibility expectations are now explicitly included in the IATF 16949 Standard, might lead some external auditors in to some unusual audit trails. Risky. Based. Thinking. :cool:
 
Last edited:

jelly1921

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
ethics escalation is the process of allowing an employee or an interested party to report unethical conduct above and beyond their direct line managers. Typically, an escalation process also requires that any alleged violation is communicated to appropriate personnel, e.g., the head of the legal compliance function. In order to preserve the anonymity of the employee, many companies have an ombudsman that serves the purpose of receiving information on alleged ethical breaches.

The fact that such corporate responsibility expectations are now explicitly included in the IATF 16949 Standard, might lead some external auditors in to some unusual audit trails. Risky. Based. Thinking. :cool:
What the auditor do with the findings if the ethics escalation policies are not followed?
A major nc issued?
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#7
What the auditor do with the findings if the ethics escalation policies are not followed?
A major nc issued?
They should check the mental sanity of a QMS auditor who, ill-advisedly, decides to explore the rabbit hole of corporate whistleblowing. A lawsuit waiting to happen.
 
#8
They should check the mental sanity of a QMS auditor who, ill-advisedly, decides to explore the rabbit hole of corporate whistleblowing. A lawsuit waiting to happen.
Interestingly, I wrote extensively about the topic of ETHICS and WHISTLEBLOWING 12 years ago (Ethics - Moral law vs. Criminal law) - I am amazed it took the Standards folks this long to catch up to what seemed like a "no brainer" to me 12 years ago: An organization NEEDS a mechanism to sort BS, ignorance, and bias from real, solid FACTS when someone points a finger at what he "suspects" in wrongdoing. In my experience over the last half century, MOST of the finger-pointing boils down to either the finger pointer or the object of the finger pointing being ignorant of the total picture involved in the suspect process or action.

An organization that has a documented mechanism for separating speculation from fact will ultimately benefit.

Deming continually preached "Remove Fear!" In the case of whistle-blowing, fear of reprisal is a major stumbling block in choosing to "tell" or to contribute to a cover-up. Given that most instances of suspected wrong doing are NOT on purpose, but primarily from misunderstanding or poor training, removing that fear of reprisal will free up more instances of reporting so that bona fide solutions can be found with a systematic program of research into the perception of a problem leading to a lasting correction of either misperception or mistaken action and, of course, discovery and elimination of any actual criminal or unethical activity.
 
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