Last year, the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) published IATF 16949:2016, a its revision of the automotive sector’s quality management system (QMS) requirements. With the new IATF quality management system 16949:2016, having a whistleblowing policy in place became a new requirement. IATF members include vehicle manufacturers like BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Renault and Volkswagen AG. In this article, WhistleB explains what to keep in mind when implementing a whistleblowing service in line with the IATF quality management system.
According to IATF´s new quality management system IATF 16949, organisations ”shall define and implement corporate responsibility policies, including at a minimum an anti-bribery policy, an employee code of conduct, and an ethics escalation (whistle-blowing) policy.”
This new requirement shows the aim to prevent potential misconduct in the first place, before it may escalate into actual wrongdoing. Organisations implementing a whistleblowing policy demonstrate that they take their codes of ethics seriously.
Organisations that are currently certified to ISO/TS16949:2009 will need to transition to IATF 16949:2016 by the 14th of September 2018. After the 1st of October 2017, all audits must take place according to the new IATF standard.
Success factors for a trustworthy whistleblowing system
In order to have a trusted and well-functioning whistleblowing service in place, the following elements are key:
- Anonymous reporting is possible and explained to the potential whistleblower in detail. Data security and data privacy is the number one issue.
- The purpose of whistleblowing, to ensure that the ethical principles in the Code of Conduct are respected, is communicated by the board and management.
- A well thought-through investigation process is put in place, and communicated.
WhistleB provides a secure platform for corporate whistleblowing reporting and two-way communication with an anonymous whistleblower. The service is used by automotive and other companies, banks, investors and authorities in more than 100 countries and can be offered in any language.