CSA Group Publishes Its First Guideline on Whistleblowing Systems

February 18, 2016

TorontoCSA Group, a leading global provider of standards development and testing and certification services, announces the publication of a new guideline on whistleblowing systems that is now available as a free download at CSA Group Communities. The guideline will help organizations empower employees to report suspected issues at work within the framework of both a corporate ethics and compliance as well as an occupational health and safety program.

“Whistleblowing,” which is the act of reporting suspected wrongdoing, mismanagement and unethical conduct in an organization, is one of the most effective methods for identifying activities that could potentially cause harm to an organization, the public interest, or the health and safety of the environment.  The information gained from whistleblowing activities can be invaluable to organizations seeking to prevent the damages that could result from these activities.   For these and other reasons, government bodies, corporations and non-profit associations are looking for ways to proactively encourage a “speak-up” culture that enables their employees to voice any concerns[1].

“Promoting and maintaining ethical practices can help organizations create an innovative workplace where employees actively contribute to the advancement of the organization. This helps improve the overall performance of the company and creates a positive workplace,” said Gianluca Arcari, Executive Director, Standards and Vice President, CSA Group. “CSA Group is proud that this new guideline can provide the basis for a culture that encourages employees to speak up and take an active role in supporting ethical practices at work.”

Whistleblowing Systems – A Guide was developed to help organizations establish and manage an effective mechanism for whistleblowing activities.  The guideline provides a background on existing Canadian laws and codes related to whistleblowing as well as a summary of the key performance benefits associated with a whistleblowing system.  In order to help organizations develop internal systems specific to their operations, the guideline also highlights key planning considerations and identifies the target outcomes of a successful system. The guide also addresses the most critical issues in developing an effective system, including the challenge of protecting whistleblowers from reprisals that punish and silence them, and discourage others from speaking out.

Although the elements of a whistleblowing system may vary depending on organization size and business, the guideline defines the common critical elements and provides recommendations for an appropriate implementation approach. It can also be used along with the standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace to set up a comprehensive occupational health and safety management system that promotes accountability and gives workers a voice and influence within their workplace.

CSA Group would like to thank Grant Thornton LLP for its assistance in the development of the guideline, as well as its sponsorship of the free online access to Whistleblowing Systems – A Guide.

[1] A.J. Brown, David Lewis, Richard Moberly, Wim Vandekerckhove (Eds.), International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research. Cheltenham, UK.: Eward Elgar, 2014, 1-36.

About CSA Group

CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.


Allison Hawkins
Manager, Corporate Affairs
CSA Group
[email protected]


February 18, 2016