Post-Graduate Degree Programmes

Post-Graduate Certificate in Whistleblower Protection
Systems and Techniques

Start date

September 2022


6 month





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This programme provides in-depth, specialized knowledge of whistleblower protection laws, policies, and functional systems – from the perspective of practitioners and for the benefit of practitioners. Capturing modernized best practices and new thinking, the programme delivers an innovative approach to whistleblowing as society’s most effective anti-corruption tool.

Participants will learn the legal and societal underpinnings of whistleblower laws and policies, and how to practically apply cutting-edge legal theory and philosophy to fulfill their main goals.

The programme will present global themes, strategies and tactics that are equally essential for all practitioners working in the field of public integrity and accountability: public officials and regulators, attorneys, whistleblower caseworkers, compliance officers, CSOs, labor unions, investigative journalists, and public policy researchers.

The programme employs the concepts of information theory, design thinking and product management to prepare participants in their respective roles. The programme includes various types of lectures, readings, discussions, individual work, and group projects – all with a practice-based orientation.


The programme will:

  • Prepare the anti-corruption and employment rights professionals to competently and efficiently receive, investigate and respond to retaliation complaints and reports of misconduct, from employees and associated persons.
  • Provide students a practice-based understanding of whistleblower environments and needs, how to boost the performance of whistleblower protection programs, and how to formulate and communicate a rule-based whistleblower legal narrative. This narrative is enhanced with legal scholarship, literature, and iconography.
  • Provide students the knowledge, tools, and practical skills to competently protect employees from retaliation and handle whistleblower reports in a full range of public- and private-sector settings.

Module 1

Whistleblower Protection: Theories, Laws, and Systems

Includes the history of whistleblower protection, an examination of the concept, the development of international and regional conventions, the formulation of standards and best practices, and the enactment of national whistleblower protection laws, which now number more than 45 worldwide. Also includes key case law and precedents, the theory and structure of whistleblower reporting channels, designing, and evaluating the effectiveness of channels, and successful whistleblower program management.

Module 2

Whistleblower Protection Laws and Systems in Practice

Includes practical strategies and tactics to shield witnesses in the workplace from reprisals, protect their identity, obtain relief and remedies for victimized employees, investigate reports of misconduct, achieve the maximum impact of reports, and support and assist people considering making or who already have made a report. Lectures will be given by international legal professionals with many decades of successful representation of whistleblowers.


Innovations in Protection: Designing a Citizen-Centered Whistleblower System

Working individually, participants will conceptualize, design, and produce a plan for a whistleblower reporting and protection system. Participants may choose to develop a system either for (1) a public institution responsible for overseeing whistleblower protection for all employees in country, or (2) an individual private-sector company as part of its compliance or audit department. The system may be designed for a hypothetical or actual institution or company.


Modules of the programme are made of two parts: Course Work and Project Work. Both parts run in parallel.

Course Work

This part is consisting of several courses that run in a coherent sequence one after another. The course work starts in the beginning of the module and lasts on the last day of the module. The course work or the course study materials and classes will enrich the students’ work on their project.

Project Work

This part is consisting of a project work, presentation, and a project report. The project work runs in parallel to the course work. Students will receive guidance on their project and work in small groups. During the module, they will present the result of their group work to the class, on a pre-designated time and after that, they will start working on their written project report, individually. The written project report is due on the last day of the module.

Teaching Methods

The program includes various synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning methods

Target Students

The programme is ideal for professionals from the public and private sector interested in promoting, implementing, or enhancing whistleblower protection laws and/or systems. The programme also suits professionals working in European countries with new whistleblower laws passed to comply with the 2019 EU Directive on whistleblower protection.

  • More specifically, the programme is for:

    • Public officials in the fields of whistleblower protection, anti-corruption, ombudsman/rights defense, law enforcement, regulatory/oversight agencies, prosecution
    • Practicing attorneys in the fields of whistleblower rights, employment/labor, anti-discrimination, company law
    • Company compliance and internal audit staff
    • Labor unions and trade organizations
    • Civil society organizations and academic/research institutions in the fields of whistleblower rights, anti-corruption, transparency, democratization, public integrity, human/civil rights, citizen participation


  • Proficiency in English language
  • Written Expression of Interest (maximum 500 words)

Tuition Fee

4.800 EUR

Payable in two instalments


Currently, there are no scholarships available for this programme.


Under the Preferential Treatment Scheme for IACA Parties contributing to the general budget of the organization, IACA is offering different preferences related to member states contributions to the IACA general budget.


Wendy Addison

WendyWendy Addison is the founder of SpeakOut SpeakUp, a non-profit whistleblower support and advocacy organization in London. She founded the group after exposing mass-scale financial crimes at LeisureNet, in a decade-long case known as “South Africa’s Enron.” She is an international leader in advancing free-speech rights for employees who witness corruption. Her clients and engagements range from speaking at TEDx Tokyo, providing training for the Council of Europe, and addressing the goals of companies such as Facebook in Menlo Park, Mubadala in the UAE and the Massy Group in the Caribbean. She is a lecturer Warwick Business School, a contributing member of the UNCAC Coalition and Surrey University’s Corruption Research Group, and an advisory board member of the Whistleblowing Research Unit at Middlesex University in London. In 2019 she was nominated for a UNODC Lifetime Outstanding Achievement Award by the OECD.

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