Why Convert to the ISO 37002 Whistleblower Guidelines?

Why Convert to an ABMS?

Able to be implemented in any type of business throughout the world, a well built and Internationally assured whistleblower system fundamentally changes the way an organisation approaches compliance reporting and puts them on the path towards a strong ethical business.

A set of ISO Standards or ISO Guidelines follows a well-heeled, high-level structure used by many of ISO, such as the more well-known Quality Management Systems (9001) and Information Security Management Systems (27001).

The key value of applying the ISO 37002 Whistleblower Guidelines to your existing whistleblower program lies in its flexibility, allowing you to mould it to fit your organisation. By making some slight changes to your current whistleblower programmes, organisations can leverage their ISO 37002 Whistleblower Guidelines as a true differentiator. Benefits of making this transition include:

Flexibility to cover your unique risks

  • Able to be used by any organisation
  • Easily transition your current programme
  • A tailored system for your needs

Many organisations fear that transitioning to a set of issues ISIO Guidelines would require them to follow rigid guidelines that are difficult to implement and might also not be the best structure for their organisation. This is not the case with systems built according to ISO standards and guidelines though, as they were created to be flexible enough for organisations of all sizes and from any sector. Their overarching requirements provide a guide, stating areas that need to be included (investigation processes, resources, controls, etc) if you wish to have your system assured. However, you choose the technical aspects that will best reduce risk in your organisation.

A continuous cycle of improvement

  • Build upon your existing whistleblower programme
  • Requires audits, reviews, and improvement
  • Identify and fix gaps for a better system over time 

Typical Whistleblower programmes have a strong top-to-bottom structure, making them somewhat linear compared to the circular design of a system designed and built according to the ISO 37002 Whistleblower Guidelines.

This can be seen in the cyclical motion of implementing systems, checking them, measuring them, auditing them, reviewing them, and improving them. This is often in stark contrast to a traditional whistleblower programme which is often a little light on the audit, review, and improvement side of things and is much of a 'set and forget'.

Prove the value of your efforts

  • Requires measurements of all processes
  • More easily identify where problems are occuring
  • Highlight areas of achievement to management

Applying the ISO 37002 Whistleblower Guidelines to your existing whistleblower program forces your compliance team to measure any activity in its defined policies and procedures. While this may make some organisations a little uncomfortable, it is essential for preventing potentially costly issues and closing any gaps that might appear in the system. 

Distribute the responsibility of whistleblower mangagement

  • Vigilance for issues throughout the organisation
  • Creates a system which requires everyone to participate
  • Easily manage new issues as they arise

Though the compliance department and management own the responsibilities of development, review, approval, and improvement of the whistleblower system, everyone in the business plays a role in making the system successful. Transitioning from separate and more traditional whistleblower system to one designed by the ISO 37002 Whistleblower Guidelines fundamentally transforms the objective from attempting to ‘comply’ with the policies and procedures, to creating a system for the management of an issue and supporting the business to operate within it. 

A universal structure 

  • A proven method that has been used in ISO systems for decades
  • Follow a similar structure between other ISO programmes
  • Improves colleague's comprehension of their responsibilities 

Accountability throughout the organisation

  • Easily identify who is responsible for non-conformities
  • Take corrective actions so that issues are avoided in the future
  • Ownership is still maintained by legal and compliance


    Though it takes a bit of time and commitment from your organisation, you won’t regret the vast and continual improvements that applying the ISO 37002 Whistleblower Guidelines to your existing whistleblower program will bring to your business.