Privacy Policy


This is the privacy notice of AIM Information Matters CIO (Registered in England and Wales under Registered Charity Number 1178244), the registered office of which is at 6 Hoffmanns Way, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1GU. and are owned and operated by AIM Apprenticeships Limited (company number: 9125397). Our registered office is: 6 Hoffmanns Way, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1GU. In this document, "we", "our", or "us" refer to AIM Information Matters CIO and the AIM Group of Companies.


What Information Is Protected?
While countries within the European Union can set their own data protection laws, an EU Regulation, known as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for short, sets out the minimum rights and obligations with respect to personal data about EU citizens controlled or processed by organisations in the EU.

What Is Personal Data?
Personal data is any information relating to someone who can be identified from it.
It could be collected, used or stored online or offline.

It may include:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • An identification code, such as a customer number or passport number
  • Geographic location data, such as places you have visited
  • Actions you have taken on a website
  • Online identifiers, such as your computer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address
  • Your financial data, including credit history 

Sensitive Information
The law recognises that some types of information are more sensitive than others and the consequences for you if these were misused would be much more severe. The requirements to protect them are therefore much greater.

These types of information include:

  • Your race and ethnic origin
  • Your beliefs, including those relating to politics and religion
  • Your membership of trade unions and other political bodies
  • Your health, genetics and biometrics
  • Your sex life and sexual orientation

Data About Children
Where an online information service is offered to someone under the age of fourteen (14) years of age, the service provider must obtain consent from the parent or guardian to provide that service. You are prohibited from using the AIM Information Matters CIO and the AIM Group of Companies services without obtaining consent from a parent or guardian, once you have obtained permission you may use the services of AIM Information Matters CIO.

What Is Processing And Controlling?
In reference to data protection, the term controlling means deciding the purpose and the means of processing personal data. Processing means collecting, using and storing the data.

AIM Information Matters CIO and the AIM Group of Companies is an organisation that is both a controller and a processor.

  1. This is a notice to inform you of our policy about all information that we record about you. It sets out the conditions under which we may process any information that we collect from you, or that you provide to us. It covers information that could identify you (“personal information”) and information that could not. In the context of the law and this notice, “process” means collect, store, transfer, use or otherwise act on information.
  2. Collection of Personal Data: To provide the Website and the Services, it is necessary for us to hold and process certain personal information. The data that we collect or ask you to provide may include some or all of the following: name, address, email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers, financial information (including payment details), education history, IP addresses, web-browser details, operating system details, and/or your activities on the Website.
  3. Sensitive Personal Data: In addition, you may submit or it may be a requirement of, for example, an application for an apprenticeship that you supply, Sensitive Personal Data which is information about your racial or ethnic origin, mental/physical health (including any disability), trade union membership and any criminal convictions. You are not obliged to submit Sensitive Personal Data but some opportunities may not be available to you if this information is requested but not provided.
  4. We regret that if there are one or more points contained within our Privacy Policy with which you are not happy, your recourse is to leave our website immediately and contact to request the removal of your personal data from our services.
  5. We take seriously the protection of your privacy and confidentiality. We understand that all visitors to our website are entitled to know that their personal data will not be used for any purpose unintended by them, and will not accidentally fall into the hands of a third party.
  6. We undertake to preserve and safeguard the confidentiality of all information you provide to us, and hope that you reciprocate.
  7. Our policy complies with UK law accordingly implemented, including that required by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  8. The law requires us to tell you about your rights and our obligations to you in regards to the processing and control of your personal data. We do this now, by requesting that you read the information provided at
  9. Except as set out below, we do not share, or sell, or disclose to a third party, any information collected through our website. 

The Basis On Which We Process Information About You
The law requires us to determine under which of six defined bases we process different categories of your personal information, and to notify you of the basis for each category.

If a basis on which we process your personal information is no longer relevant then we shall immediately stop processing your data.

If the basis changes then if required by law we shall notify you of the change and of any new basis under which we have determined that we can continue to process your information.

Information We Process Because We Have A Contractual Obligation With You
When you create an account or register on our website, create a CV, apply to a vacancy, register your interest for any training courses or any services offered by us, or otherwise agree to our terms and conditions, a contract is formed between you and us.

In order to carry out our obligations under that contract we must process the information you give us. Some of this information may be personal information.

We may use it in order to: verify your identity for security purposes provide you with our services provide you with suggestions and advice on products, job vacancies, CV advice, interview advice, other training services and any other services offered by us and how to obtain the most from using our website. We process this information on the basis there is a contract between us, or that you have requested we use the information before we enter into a legal contract. Additionally, we may aggregate this information in a general way and use it to provide class information, for example to monitor our performance with respect to a particular service we provide. If we use it for this purpose, you as an individual will not be personally identifiable. We shall continue to process this information until the contract between us ends or is terminated by either party under the terms of the contract.

Information We Process With Your Consent
Through certain actions when otherwise there is no contractual relationship between us, such as when you browse our website or ask us to provide you more information about our business, including job opportunities and training courses, our products and services, you provide your consent to us to process information that may be personal information. Wherever possible, we aim to obtain your explicit consent to process this information, for example, by asking you to agree to our use of cookies.

Sometimes you might give your consent implicitly, such as when you send us a message by e-mail to which you would reasonably expect us to reply. Except where you have consented to our use of your information for a specific purpose, we do not use your information in any way that would identify you personally. We may aggregate it in a general way and use it to provide class information, for example to monitor the performance of a particular page on our website.

If you have given us explicit permission to do so, we may from time to time pass your name and contact information to selected training providers or Companies which may be recruiting for an employee of your skill set or other associates whom we consider may provide services or products you would find useful in enhancing your career and educational progression

We continue to process your information on this basis until you withdraw your consent or it can be reasonably assumed that your consent no longer exists. You may withdraw your consent at any time by instructing us However, if you do so, you may not be able to use our website or our services further.

Information We Process For The Purposes Of Legitimate Interests

We may process information on the basis there is a legitimate interest, either to you or to us, of doing so.

Where we process your information on this basis, we do after having given careful consideration to:

  • Whether the same objective could be achieved through other means
  • Whether processing (or not processing) might cause you harm
  • Whether you would expect us to process your data, and whether you would, consider it reasonable to do so.
  • For example, we may process your data on this basis for the purposes of:
  • Record keeping for the proper and necessary administration of our organisational or business needs.
  • Responding to unsolicited communication from you to which we believe you would reasonably expect a response from us
  • Protecting, safeguarding and asserting the legal rights of any party
  • Insuring against or obtaining professional advice that is required to manage organisational or business risks
  • Protecting your interests where we believe we have a duty to do so 

Information We Process Because We Have A Legal Obligation
We are subject to the law like everyone else. Sometimes, we must process your information in order to comply with a statutory obligation. For example, we may be required to give information to legal authorities if they so request or if they have the proper authorisation such as a search warrant or court order. This may include your personal information.

Storage And Use Of Personal Information:
The information we collect or you provide to us will be stored together with any additional information you may provide to us and will be used to provide you with the Services and by us in analysing the use of the Website. By registering as a user of the Website and submitting personal information, you consent to it being collected, held and processed by us and to it being passed to: those persons that operate or provide services to the Website such as the moderator of a forum; and to it being included in applications made to course providers and employers offering apprenticeships and job vacancies through the Website and/or agents acting on their behalf. Sensitive personal data will only be passed to course providers and employers offering apprenticeships and/or jobs through the Website and/or agents acting on their behalf where specifically requested by them as part of the application process. This information will only be used by us and those third parties to monitor equality opportunities and, where applicable, to ensure compliance with employment law.

We may also use information collected or provided to send you promotional material about services/products we or the AIM Group of Companies offer and/or material relating to trusted partners of ours. We take reasonable care in keeping the information we collect or you provide secure and preventing any unauthorised access or unlawful use of it. We will only keep your personal information for as long as necessary up to a maximum of three (3) years, however, you do have the right to have your personal information immediately removed from our records within 72 hours by contacting We may, from time to time, expand or reduce our business and this may involve the sale of part or all of our business. Information provided by users of the Website will, where relevant, be transferred and the new owner or new controlling party will, request your authority to be permitted to use such information for the purposes for which it was supplied by you. Equally, if the AIM Group of Companies changes, we may share your personal information with any new group company under their privacy policy.

We may use or disclose personal information to comply with any court order or otherwise in compliance with any legal obligation we may have. Every citizen of the EU has the following rights with respect to the personal data held or used:

  • The right to transparency of how your personal data may be used by the AIM of Companies; the right to be informed (about: what information / data is being used, how it is used, for how long it is used, and your rights)
  • The right to access, subject access requests (SARs)
  • The right to have your personal information rectified (to be able to correct your personal information if it is incorrect)
  • The right to have it your personal information removed and deleted from the AIM Apprenticeships Group of companies once there is no longer a legitimate basis to use it (also known as the right to be forgotten)
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability (to be able to share the information with other organisations)
  • The right to object to use
  • Rights regarding automated decision making and profiling 

Specific Uses Of Information You Provide To Us

Information Provided On The Understanding That It Will Be Shared With A Third Party
Our website allows you to post information with a view to that information being read, copied, downloaded, or used by other people (e.g., twitter or any other social media utilised by AIM Information Matters CIO and/or it's the AIM Group of Companies).

Examples include:

  • Posting a message our forum
  • Tagging an image
  • Clicking on an icon next to another visitor’s message to convey your agreement,
  • Disagreement or thanks 

In posting personal information, it is up to you to satisfy yourself about the privacy level of every person who might use it. We do not specifically use this information except to allow it to be displayed or shared. We do store it, and we reserve a right to use it in the future in any way we decide. Once your information enters the public domain, we have no control over what any individual third party may do with it. We accept no responsibility for their actions at any time. Should you wish to delete personal information that you have posted. You can make a request by contacting us at

Complaints Regarding Content On Our Website
Our website includes a social media element and is therefore a publishing medium. Anyone may register and then publish information about himself, herself or another person. We attempt to moderate user generated content, but we are not always able to do so as soon as that content is published. If you complain about any of the content on our website, we shall investigate your complaint.

If we feel it is justified or if we believe the law requires us to do so, we shall remove the content while we investigate. Free speech is a fundamental right, so we have to make a judgment as to whose right will be obstructed: yours, or that of the person who posted the content that offends you. If we consider your complaint is vexatious or without any basis, we shall not correspond with you about it.

Job Application And Employment
If you send us information in connection with a job application, we may keep it for up to three (3) years in case we decide to contact you at a later date with regards to new job opportunities or further education courses. If we employ you, we collect information about you and your work from time to time throughout the period of your employment. This information will be used only for purposes directly relevant to your employment. After your employment has ended, we will keep your file for six (6) years before destroying or deleting it. If you are a recruiter or a Business which is using our website for the purposes of

Recruitment: We may collect data from you which will enable AIM Information Matters CIO to find a candidate which most closely matches the job description that you have provided to us, from time to time we may have to external job boards for the purposes of finding a broader pool of candidates to fulfil your advertised role, by continuing to use the services of AIM Information Matters CIO you agree to the collection of your data and understand that this information may be shared with candidates or external job boards under the terms of this privacy policy.

If you are a candidate using our website for the purposes of work experience opportunities, employment opportunities or further education needs: We may collect data from you which will enable AIM Information Matters CIO to find an employer which most closely matches your job search and your qualifications, by submitting your CV or resume to AIM Information Matters CIO you agree to do the collection of your data and understand that this information may be shared with employers, further education providers or relevant training providers under the terms of this privacy policy.

If you are a Marketing partner using our website for the purposes of marketing to the users of the AIM Information Matters CIO website or services: You warrant that that any users wishing to use your services will fall under the remit of your businesses privacy policy and no longer falls under the terms of the AIM Information Matters CIO and/or the AIM Group of Companies’ Privacy Policy’s.

If you are a candidate that is under the age of fourteen (14) year of age using our website for the purposes of work experience or employment opportunities or further education needs: You are strictly not permitted to use the AIM Information Matters CIO’s and/or the AIM Group of Companies’ websites or services without the express authorisation and permission of a parent or guardian.

Sending A Message To Our Support Team
When you contact us, whether by telephone, through our website or by e-mail, we collect the data you have given to us in order to reply with the information you need. We record your request and our reply in order to increase the efficiency of our business.

We keep personally identifiable information associated with your message, such as your name and email address so as to be able to track our communications with you to provide a high quality service.

When we receive a complaint, we record all the information you have given to us. We use that information to resolve your complaint. If your complaint reasonably requires us to contact some other person, we may decide to give to that other person some of the information contained in your complaint, where possible we will see your express authorisation to do so. We do this as infrequently as possible, but it is a matter for our sole discretion as to whether we do give information, and if we do, what that information is. We may also compile statistics showing information obtained from this source to assess the level of service we provide, but not in a way that could identify you or any other person.

Affiliate and business partner information
This is information given to us by you in your capacity as an affiliate of us or as a business partner. It allows us to recognise visitors that you have referred to us, and to credit to you commission due for such referrals. It also includes information that allows us to transfer commission to you. The information is not used for any other purpose. We undertake to preserve the confidentiality of the information and of the terms of our relationship. We expect any affiliate or partner to agree to reciprocate this policy.

Use of information we collect through automated systems when you visit our website Cookies
Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer's hard drive by your web browser when you visit any website. They allow information gathered on one web page to be stored until it is needed for use on another, allowing a website to provide you with a personalised experience and the website owner with statistics about how you use the website so that it can be improved. Some cookies may last for a defined period of time, such as one day or until you close your browser. Others last indefinitely.

Your web browser should allow you to delete any that you may choose to. It should also allow you to prevent or limit their use. Our website uses cookies. They are placed by software that operates on our servers, and by software operated by third parties whose services we use. When you first visit our website, we ask you whether you wish us to use cookies. If you choose not to accept them, we shall not use them for your visit except to record that you have not consented to their use for any other purpose. If you choose not to use cookies or you prevent their use through your browser settings, you will not be able to use all the functionality of our website.

We Use Cookies In The Following Ways:

  • To track how you use our website, which could include the types of job roles or training courses which may be of interest to you.
  • To record whether you have seen specific messages we display on our website
  • To keep you signed in our site
  • To record your answers to surveys and questionnaires on our site while you complete them
  • To record the conversation thread during a live chat with our support team 

We use "cookies"; while you access the Website to avoid the need to re-enter details on different occasions. A "cookie" is a small amount of data sent from the server and stored on your computer's hard drive. This information is used by us to track usage of the Website, allows us to tailor your use of the Website, for example by storing information about the type of apprenticeships you are interested in and enables targeted advertising. Most web browsers are automatically set up to accept cookies, but you can set your browser to refuse cookies or ask your browser to show you where a cookie has been set up. Please note that certain features of the Website are only activated by the presence of a cookie and if you choose to refuse cookies these features may not be available to you. All modern browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. For further information about cookies and how to control their use, please visit: and

Personal Identifiers From Your Browsing Activity
Requests by your web browser to our servers for web pages and other content on our website are recorded. We record information such as your geographical location, your Internet service provider and your IP address. We also record information about the software you are using to browse our website, such as the type of computer or device and the screen resolution. We use this information in aggregate to assess the popularity of the webpages on our website and how we perform in providing content to you. If combined with other information we know about you from previous visits, the data possibly could be used to identify you personally, even if you are not signed in to our website.

Our Use Of Re-marketing
Re-marketing involves placing a cookie on your computer when you browse our website in order to be able to serve to you an advert for our products or services when you visit some other website. We may use a third party to provide us with re-marketing services from time to time. If so, if you have consented to our use of cookies, you may see advertisements for our products and services relevant to your search.

Disclosure And Sharing Of Your Information

Information We Obtain From Third Parties
Although we do not disclose your personal information to any third party (except as set out in this notice), we sometimes receive data that is indirectly made up from your personal information from third parties whose services we use. No such information is personally identifiable to you.

Third Party Advertising On Our Website
Third parties may advertise on our website. In doing so, those parties, their agents or other companies working for them may use technology that automatically collects information about you when their advertisement is displayed on our website. They may also use other technology such as cookies or JavaScript to personalise the content of, and to measure the performance of their adverts. We do not have control over these technologies or the data that these parties obtain. Accordingly, this privacy notice does not cover the information practices of these third parties.

Data May Be Processed Outside The European Union (EU)
Our websites are hosted in the United Kingdom (UK). We may also use outsourced services in countries outside the European Union from time to time in other aspects of our business. Accordingly data obtained within the UK or any other country could be processed outside the European Union. For example, some of the software our website uses may have been developed in the United States of America or Asia. We use the following safeguards with respect to data transferred outside the European Union: the processor is within the same corporate group as our business or organisation and abides by the same binding corporate rules regarding data processing. The data protection clauses in our contracts with data processors include transfer clauses written by or approved by a supervisory authority in the European Union, specifically that in the country of the UK, we comply with a code of conduct approved by a supervisory authority in the European Union.

Access To Your Own Information

Access To Your Personal Information / Subject Access Request (SARs)
At any time you may review or update personally identifiable information that we hold about you, by signing in to your account on our website. To obtain a copy of any information that is not provided on our website you may send us a Subject Access Request (SARs) at After receiving the request, we will tell you within 72 hours (exclusive of what are considered to be weekend days, Saturday or Sunday, e.g. If a request is made on Friday, we will contact you prior to the close of business on the following Tuesday) when we expect to provide you with the information.

You can also request your personal information by writing to us at AIM Group, Floor 1, 31 Springfield Road, Chelmsford, CM2 6JE

If you have any queries about this Privacy Policy, please contact us at or by telephone on 0203 900 3091

Removal Of Your Information
If you wish us to remove personally identifiable information from our website, you may contact us at

After receiving the request, we will tell you within 72 hours (exclusive of what are considered to be weekend days, Saturday or Sunday, e.g. If a request is made on Friday, we will contact you prior to the close of business on the following Tuesday) when we expect to provide you with the information.

Verification Of Your Information
When we receive any request to access, edit or delete personal identifiable information we shall first take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting you access or otherwise taking any action. This is important to safeguard your information.

If you do not want us to retain or use your personal information in any way, please do not provide it to us or, if you have already provided personal information and wish us to delete the information that we are holding, please contact us at

If you wish to stop receiving marketing material, please click the unsubscribe link in any email, contact us by telephone at 0203 900 3091 or email us from the email address registered with us at with STOP as the subject.

Other Matters

Use Of Site By Children
We do not provide services for children under the age of fourteen (14) years of age, nor do we market to children. If you are under 14, you may use our website only with consent from a parent or guardian

Our website is designed for use by children over the age of fourteen (14) years of age. These areas include job descriptions, job vacancies or training courses designed for children, young people and adults. We collect data about all users of and visitors to these areas regardless of age, and we anticipate that some of those users and visitors will be children. Such child users and visitors will inevitably visit other parts of the site and will be subject to whatever on-site marketing they find, wherever they visit, none of the on-site marketing will ever be of an adult content nature.

Encryption Of Data Sent Between Us
We use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates to verify our identity to your browser and to encrypt any data you give us. Whenever information is transferred between us, you can check that it is done so using SSL by looking for a closed padlock symbol or other trust mark in your browser’s URL bar or toolbar.

How You Can Complain
If you are not happy with our privacy policy or if have any complaint then you should tell us by email. Our address is You can find further information about our complaint handling procedure at webpage If a dispute is not settled then we hope you will agree to attempt to resolve it by engaging in good faith with us in a process of mediation or arbitration. If you are in any way dissatisfied about how we process your personal information, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office. This can be done at

Retention Period For Personal Data
Except as otherwise mentioned in this Privacy Policy, we keep your personal information only for as long as required by us: to provide you with the services you have requested; to comply with other law, including for the period demanded by our tax authorities; to support a claim or defence in court.

Compliance With The Law
Our privacy policy has been compiled so as to comply with the law of every country or legal jurisdiction in which we aim to do business. If you think it fails to satisfy the law of your jurisdiction, we should like to hear from you. However, ultimately it is your choice as to whether you wish to use our website.

Review Of This Privacy Policy
We may update this privacy notice from time to time as necessary. The terms that apply to you are those posted here on our website on the day you use our website. We advise you to print a copy for your records. If you have any question regarding our privacy policy, please contact us.



This policy applies to all staff, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers and sessional workers, agency staff, students or anyone working on behalf of AIM Information Matters CIO and the AIM Group of Companies and/or The AIM Group Foundation.


  • To protect children and young people who receive The AIM Information Matters CIO services. This includes the children of adults who use our services;
  • To provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding and child protection;
  • AIM Information Matters CIO believes that a child or a young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe. We are committed to practice in a way that protects them.

 Legal Framework
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children, namely;

  • The Childrens Act 1989
  • United Convention of the Rights of the Child 1991
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Children Act 2004
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years – Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities; HM Government 2014
  • Information sharing: Advice for practitioners providing safeguarding services to children, young people, parents and carers; HM Government 2015
  • Working together to safeguarding children; a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promoted the welfare of children; HM Government 2015

 We recognise that:

  • The welfare of the child is paramount, as enshrined in the Children Act 1989
  • All children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • Some children are additionally vulnerable because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues.
  • Working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting young people’s welfare.

We will seek to keep children and young people safe by:

  • Valuing them, listening to and respecting them
  • Appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for children and young people, a deputy and a lead board member for safeguarding
  • Adopting child protection and safeguarding practices through procedures and a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • Developing and implementing an effective e-safety policy and related procedures
  • Providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support, training and quality assurance measures
  • Recruiting staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • Recording and storing information professionally and securely, and sharing information about safeguarding and good practice with children, their families, staff and volunteers via leaflets, posters, one-to-one discussions
  • Using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, parents, families and carers appropriately
  • Using our procedures to manage any allegations against staff and volunteers appropriately
  • Creating and maintaining an anti-bullying environment and ensuring that we have a policy and procedure to help us deal effectively with any bullying that does arise
  • Ensuring that we have effective complaints and whistleblowing measures in place
  • Ensuring that we provide a safe physical environment for our children, young people, staff and volunteers, by applying health and safety measures in accordance with the law and regulatory guidance

Contact Details
Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
Name: Bridget Mazdon

Deputy DSO
Name: Andrew Binns

Senior lead for safeguarding
Name: Zoe Mccracken


NSPCC Helpline
Tel: 0808 800 5000

We are committed to reviewing our policy and good practice annually.
This policy was last reviewed on 15th January 2019.




Lewis Mazdon



(Making a Disclosure in the Public Interest)

The AIM Group is committed to the highest standards of openness, probity and accountability. 

An important aspect of accountability and transparency is a mechanism to enable staff and other members of the Group to voice concerns in a responsible and effective manner. It is a fundamental term of every contract of employment that an employee will faithfully serve his or her employer and not disclose confidential information about the employer’s affairs. Nevertheless, where an individual discovers information which they believe shows serious malpractice or wrongdoing within the organisation then this information should be disclosed internally without fear of reprisal, and there should be arrangements to enable this to be done independently of line management (although in relatively minor instances the line manager would be the appropriate person to be told).

The Public Interest Disclosure Act gives legal protection to employees against being dismissed or penalised by their employers as a result of publicly disclosing certain serious concerns. The Group has endorsed the provisions set out below to ensure that no members of staff should feel at a disadvantage in raising legitimate concerns.

It should be emphasised that this policy is intended to assist individuals who believe they have discovered malpractice or impropriety. It is not designed to question financial or business decisions taken by the Group nor should it be used to reconsider any matters, which have already been addressed under harassment, complaint, and disciplinary or other procedures.

Scope of Policy
This policy is designed to enable employees of the Group to raise concerns internally and at a high level and to disclose information, which the individual believes shows malpractice or impropriety. This policy is intended to cover concerns, which are in the public interest and may at least initially be investigated separately but might then lead to the invocation of other procedures e.g. disciplinary. These concerns could include:

  • Financial malpractice or impropriety or fraud
  • Failure to comply with a legal obligation or Statutes
  • Dangers to Health & Safety or the environment
  • Criminal activity
  • Improper conduct or unethical behaviour
  • Attempts to conceal any of these

Protection - this policy is designed to offer protection to those employees of [Company] who disclose such concerns provided the disclosure is made:

  • In good faith
  • In the reasonable belief of the individual making the disclosure that it tends to show malpractice or impropriety and if they make the disclosure to an appropriate person (see below). It is important to note that no protection from internal disciplinary procedures is offered to those who choose not to use the procedure. In an extreme case, malicious or wild allegations could give rise to legal action on the part of the persons complained about.

Confidentiality - The AIM Group will treat all such disclosures in a confidential and sensitive manner. The identity of the individual making the allegation may be kept confidential so long as it does not hinder or frustrate any investigation. However, the investigation process may reveal the source of the information and the individual making the disclosure may need to provide a statement as part of the evidence required.

Anonymous Allegations
- this policy encourages individuals to put their name to any disclosures they make. Concerns expressed anonymously are much less credible, but they may be considered at the discretion of the Group. In exercising this discretion, the factors to be taken into account will include:

  • The seriousness of the issues raised
  • The credibility of the concern
  • The likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources

Untrue Allegations - If an individual makes an allegation in good faith, which is not confirmed by subsequent investigation, no action will be taken against that individual. In making a disclosure the individual should exercise due care to ensure the accuracy of the information. If, however, an individual makes malicious or vexatious allegations, and particularly if he or she persists with making them, disciplinary action may be taken against that individual.

Procedures for Making a Disclosure

On receipt of a complaint of malpractice, the member of staff who receives and takes note of the complaint, must pass this information as soon as is reasonably possible, to the appropriate designated investigating officer as follows:

  • The appropriate Director will investigate complaints of malpractice unless the complaint is against the Director or is in any way related to the actions of the Director. In such cases, the complaint should be passed to the Chief Executive / Business Owner / Trustees for referral.
  •  In the case of a complaint, which is any way connected with but not against the Director, the Chief Executive / Business Owner / Trustees will nominate a Senior Manager or external party to act as the alternative investigating officer.
  • Complaints against the Chief Executive / Business Owner / Trustees should be passed to the Chairman who will nominate an appropriate internal / external investigating officer.
  • The complainant has the right to bypass the line management structure and take their complaint direct to the Chairman (or Business Owner). The Chairman (or Business Owner) has the right to refer the complaint back to management if he/she feels that the management without any conflict of interest can more appropriately investigate the complaint.

Should none of the above routes be suitable or acceptable to the complainant, and then the complainant may approach one of the following individuals who have been designated and trained as independent points of contact under this procedure. They can advise the complainant on the implications of the legislation and the possible internal and external avenues of complaint open to them:

1) (HR Officer)

If there is evidence of criminal activity then the investigating officer should inform the police. The Group will ensure that any internal investigation does not hinder a formal police investigation.

Due to the varied nature of these sorts of complaints, which may involve internal / external investigators and / or the police, it is not possible to lay down precise timescales for such investigations. The investigating officer should ensure that the investigations are undertaken as quickly as possible without affecting the quality and depth of those investigations.

The investigating officer, should as soon as practically possible, send a written acknowledgement of the concern to the complainant and thereafter report back to them in writing the outcome of the investigation and on the action that is proposed. If the investigation is a prolonged one, the investigating officer should keep the complainant informed, in writing, as to the progress of the investigation and as to when it is likely to be concluded.

All responses to the complainant should be in writing and sent to their home address marked “confidential”.

Investigating Procedure
The investigating officer should follow these steps:

  • Full details and clarifications of the complaint should be obtained.
  • The investigating officer should inform the member of staff against whom the complaint is made as soon as is practically possible. The member of staff will be informed of their right to be accompanied by a trade union or work colleague at any future interview or hearing held under the provision of these procedures. At the discretion of the investigating officer and dependant on the circumstances of the complaint an alternative representative may be allowed e.g. the individual’s legal representative.
  • The investigating officer should consider the involvement of the Group auditors and the Police at this stage and should consult with the Chairman / Chief Executive / Business Owner / Trustees if appropriate
  • The allegations should be fully investigated by the investigating officer with the assistance where appropriate, of other individuals / bodies.
  • The investigating officer will make a judgement concerning the complaint and validity of the complaint. This judgement will be detailed in a written report containing the findings of the investigations and reasons for the judgement. The report will be passed to the Chief Executive, Chairman, Business Owner or Trustees as appropriate.
  • The Chief Executive / Chairman / Business Owner / Trustees will decide what action to take. If the complaint is shown to be justified, then they will invoke the disciplinary or other appropriate Group procedures.
  • The complainant should be kept informed of the progress of the investigations and, if appropriate, of the final outcome.
  • If appropriate, a copy of the outcomes will be used to enable a review of Group procedures.

If the complainant is not satisfied that their concern is being properly dealt with by the investigating officer, they have the right to raise it in confidence with the Chief Executive / Business Owner / Chairman / Trustees or one of the designated persons described above.

If the investigation finds the allegations unsubstantiated and all internal procedures have been exhausted, but the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation,
The AIM Group recognises the lawful rights of employees and ex-employees to make disclosures to prescribed persons or body (e.g. the Health and Safety Executive). A full list of prescribed people and bodies can be found on the Government Website (