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Whistle-Blowing Policy
November 2022
Bowls England aims to make our sport as safe possible. Part of this mission is to
recognise our responsibility in promoting a safe environment. To achieve this aim, we
encourage anyone with genuine concerns about suspected malpractice, illegal acts or
failure to comply with recognised policies, codes or standards to report their concerns
without fear of reprisals or victimisation.
Who does this policy apply to?
This policy applies to anyone employed by, engaged under a contract by or volunteering
directly for Bowls England. We recommend that all County Associations and Clubs adopt
a similar policy for their employees, contractors and volunteers. Anyone that is not
covered by this policy, who feels that they have a legitimate complaint or concern about
the conduct of anyone else within our sport should refer to Bowls England Regulation 9.
What is whistle-blowing?
Whistle blowing is an early warning system, raising concerns over misconduct or
malpractice within an organisation or independent structure associated with it.
Bowls England will not tolerate harassment or victimisation of a genuine whistle-blower.
We comply with The Public Interest Disclosure Act. For disclosures to be protected by
the acts provision they must show that the individual believes one of more of the
following is happening, took place in the past, or is likely to happen in the future:
• A criminal offence
• A breach of legal obligation
• A financial or non-financial maladministration or malpractice
• A failure to comply with the rules, regulations and policies of Bowls England,
including but not limited to Equality, Safeguarding, Disciplinary and Anti-Doping
• A miscarriage of justice
• A danger to the health and safety of any individual
• A damage to the environment
• A deliberate concealment of information to any of the above
This policy does not apply to any personal grievances concerning and individuals
contractual terms, or other aspects of the working relationships such as complaints of
bullying, harassment or disciplinary matters.
A report or disclosure must not be made for the purposes of personal gain. Concerns
must be raised in good faith and the individual must reasonably believe that the
information disclosure is accurate. Individuals will not be penalised for raising
disclosures, however malicious and false allegations will be regarded as a serious
disciplinary offence.

Why should you disclose your concern?
Bowls England is committed to good practice and high standards and wants to be
supportive of everyone within the lawn bowls community.
We recognise that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make, not
least because of the fear of reprisal from those responsible for the alleged poor practice.
If an individual believes what they are saying to be true, they should have nothing to
fear because in reporting their concern they will be doing their duty to the child, young
person or adult concerned.
How to disclose a concern?
We advise that if you wish to make a disclosure you should:
• Disclosure your concerns in a timely manner, this will avoid any misinterpretation
of the motives behind the concern
• Focus on the issues and proceed tactfully to avoid your disclosure appearing like a
personal vendetta
• Ensure that you are factual and accurate in your claims, including any formal
records of the relevant events
There are many sources of advice if you wish to seek independent help on whether to
and how to proceed. Some of which are listed below:
• The Public Interest Disclosure Act, provides further information click here to read
through the guidance.
• The Protest Charity, provides free confidential advice to workers who have
concerns in the work place. Click here for more information.
Where to disclose any concerns?
Concern Who to raise it with Contact details
Board Member/
Chief Executive Chair of the Board
Volunteer Chief Executive

Chief Executive or Head of
Business Operations

Operational Area
i.e. Safeguarding,
Financial etc.

Head of Business Operations
or Chief Executive

How will concerns be dealt with?
When a disclosure is made, an initial acknowledgement will be given along with an
estimated time on when the preliminary investigation will be conducted and who will be
conducting it. Depending on the circumstances the accused may be suspended through
the investigations. The investigating officer will decide, either using the information
provided or investigating further whether:
• There is enough evidence for there to be a case to answer.
• The matter should be dealt with under this whistle blowing policy or under a
different policy.
• A full investigation should be conducted and what form it should take:
o Internal Investigation
o Referral to external advisors (HR, Auditors, Lawyers)
o Relevant outside body (Police, CPSU, Sport England, UK Anti-Doping)
o Independent Body

The answer to the above will be communicated to the individual making the disclosure.
If the investigating officer decides not to proceed with a full investigation, the reasons
for that decision will be explained as fully as possible to the individual making the
disclosure. The individual is then able, should they wish to make another disclosure to
another contact listed above.
The details of the full investigation, including any disciplinary action will be kept
confidential with the outcome being reported to the Bowls England Board. A formal
record will be retained by either the Head of Business Operations or the Chief Executive
for at least seven years and will include a signed statement by the investigating officer
and the individual making the disclosure.
What about confidentiality?
Anonymous complaints are not covered by this policy and may not be investigated. In
view of the protection afforded to whistle-blowers, individuals should put their name to
any disclosure. The identity of the whistle-blower will be kept confidential, if so
requested, for as long as possible provided that this is compatible with a proper
What about retaliation?
Bowls England has an obligation to shield whistle-blowers who make a protected
disclosure in good faith. If however, you feel that you have suffered adverse treatment
as a result of making a disclosure, you should submit a formal complaint. All reports of
whistle-blowers suffering adverse treatment, harassment or victimisation as a result of a
disclosure will be taken exceedingly seriously.