A recent audit conducted by Inspector General (OIG) concluded that the training provided to OSHA whistleblower complaint investigators could be improved in material respects (we previously blogged about the OIG’s audit here). It found that the absence of an official training directive combined with complex statutes, policies and procedures created an environment where training was lacking.
On October 8, 2015, OSHA responded by detailing an official and mandatory training program to ensure nationwide consistency with respect to the training provided to investigators. Investigators will now be required to complete a Whistleblower Investigation Fundamentals course during the first year of the investigator’s career. In the second and third years, investigators will be required to complete technical courses focusing on:
- Interviewing techniques;
- Written communication and report writing;
- Legal concepts; and
- Whistleblower complaint resolution and settlement negotiations.
In addition, investigators are encouraged to attend webinars on the 22 statutes within the jurisdictional reach of OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program, seek out additional technical trainings and obtain professional certifications.
The training program sends a clear message that OSHA takes the OIG’s audit results seriously and remains focused on improving the Whistleblower Protection Program.