Whistleblowing rozhovor Vanessa Crawford

"Thanks to the FaceUp platform we can detect problems as early as possible," says HR Manager at ADvTech

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Helena Jezkova

3 min read

We spoke with Vanessa Crawford, HR Manager at ADvTech, about whistleblowing and her experience with FaceUp.

ADvTECH is South Africa’s largest private education provider. All of ADvTECH’s 7 580 staff members, teachers, lecturers and students between Grades 4 and 12 at its 96 schools throughout South Africa has access to the app.

What was the main issue/challenge you were experiencing that led you to use FaceUp?

There are various reasons why we at ADvTECH think it is so important to have a whistleblowing app. Firstly with the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health issues have increased, such as depression, anxiety, stress. For that reason it was important but in addition, although we already have robust measures in place for reporting, not many people were using the platforms. We believe that using a digital platform it will make it more open to report, especially for children under the age of 18. 

How would you describe the process of working with FaceUp? 

We wanted to provide a space for people who previously had none. There were concerns particularly around bullying and stigma. The addition of the Allies programme that Advtech has put in place which includes training and empowering our teachers and staff to be able to assist learners and employees who reach out through FaceUp for assistance. 

The app is really well facilitated with drop-down arrows and really provides both reporters and administrators with the accessibility of helping and investigating the issue once it has come through.  

faceup whistleblowing

What have been the highlights of working with FaceUp?

Using FaceUp whistleblowing system, reports that have come through have been resolved far more efficiently than any other platform or method we have used in the past. 

Another advantage is that reporters can track what is happening with their report and the status of any investigations that are taking place. 

Experience with FaceUp thus far:

  • Ease of Use = 5/5
  • Features and Functionality = 5/5
  • Customer Support = 5/5
  • Value for Money = 5/5
  • Likelihood to recommend FaceUp = 5/5

Have you experienced any positive or negative results?

Our experience thus far has been excellent. 

Has working with FaceUp changed or improved your situation/business?

People are not well trained in dealing with reports once they have received them. This is why FaceUp is such a lovely new tool for us. It provides us with the anonymity so that people can report without fear of further victimisation as well as there are resources on the administration system to assist in dealing with reports. 

faceup whistleblowing

Would you recommend FaceUp to other companies and schools?

I would appeal to schools and companies to employ FaceUp. The possibility if you can imagine of elevating mental health and drowning out discrimination amongst schools. We have seen a great take-up in our company to address issues that some people would probably not report otherwise. 

About ADvTECH Group

The ADvTECH Group, a JSE-listed company, is Africa’s largest private education provider and a continental leader in quality education, training, skills development and placement services. The Group reports its performance in a segmental structure reflecting the Schools and Tertiary as two separate education divisions, and Resourcing as the third division. ADvTECH’s Schools division comprises 10 brands with more than 100 schools across South Africa, including Gaborone International School in Botswana and Crawford International in Nairobi, Kenya. It owns 9 tertiary brands, across 30 campuses across South Africa and the rest of Africa, and its higher education division, The Independent Institute of Education, is SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education provider. ADvTECH’s 9 resourcing brands places thousands of candidates annually, assisting graduates to make the transition from the world of study to the world of work.

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Helena Jezkova

3 min read
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