The Africa Psychosocial Support Institute (APSSI) is a non-profit APSSI based in South Africa and a subsidiary of the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI). It was launched in 2018 to foster professionalism and excellence in the provision of child and youth mental health, psychosocial care and support (MHPSS). The purpose of this Policy is to provide a framework for the protection of individuals against retaliation arising from their reporting misconduct, providing information in good faith on alleged wrongdoing or for cooperating with duly authorized audits, investigations and other oversight activities.

    APSSI shall provide protection to individuals who face from retaliation after reporting or providing information concerning acts of misconduct, or who have cooperated with audits or investigations or other oversight activities. APSSI staff members are obliged to cooperate with duly authorized audits and investigations and other oversight activities. An individual who does so, has the right to be protected against retaliation.

  3. SCOPE OF APPLICATION All APSSI staff members have a duty to report any breach of APSSI’s regulations and rules to officials whose responsibility it is to take appropriate action. An individual who makes such a report in good faith has the right to be protected against retaliation. Protection against retaliation applies to any APSSI staff member who: (a) reports the failure of one or more individuals to comply with their obligations under APSSI’s Financial Procedures Manual, 2021; the Conflict of Interest Policy, 2021; Anti-Fraud, AntiBribery and Anti-Corruption Policy, 2021; Prohibition of Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Abuse of Authority and Discrimination Policy, 2021; Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy, 2021 or other relevant policies and administrative issuances, including any request or instruction from any staff member to violate APSSI polices, regulations, or issuances. (b) provides information in good faith on wrongdoing by one or more individuals; or (c) cooperates in good faith with a duly authorized investigation or audit or other oversight activities.


    4.1 Section 1: General Provisions

    This Policy is without prejudice to the legitimate application of regulations, rules and administrative procedures, including those governing evaluation of performance and non-extension or termination of appointment/employment. However, in applying such regulations, rules and administrative procedures to any APSSI staff member, APSSI management must show by clear and convincing evidence that the same action would have been taken without the protected activities referred to above.

    4.1.1 The Violation

    It is a violation of the fundamental obligation of all staff to retaliate against individuals who have reported or provided information concerning acts of misconduct, or who have cooperated with audits or investigations or other oversight activities is prohibited. Staff members are expected to uphold the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity and to discharge their functions and regulate their conduct with the best interest of APSSI

    4.1.2 Definition of retaliation

    For the purposes of this policy, “retaliation” means any direct or indirect detrimental action recommended, threatened or taken because an individual engaged in any or all of the activities activity referred to above. When established, retaliation in itself constitutes misconduct, for which appropriate action will be taken.

    4.1.3 Situations when protection may not be provided

    In order to receive protection as provided for in this Policy, the individual must act in good faith and must have a reasonable belief that the activities reported did in fact occur. The transmission or dissemination of unsubstantiated rumors is not a protected activity. Making a report or providing information that is intentionally false or misleading constitutes misconduct and may result in administrative, disciplinary or other appropriate action.

    4.2 Section 2: Reporting misconduct through established internal mechanisms

    Except as provided in Section 3 below, reports of misconduct should be made through the established internal mechanisms and following established guidelines. Depending on the nature of the allegations, this may include: [q] the Executive director; [b] the Director, Finance and
    Administration.; [c] the Head of Department/Unit; od [d] any Focal Point who may be appointed to receive reports of sexual exploitation and abuse.

    The identity of the individual reporting misconduct should remain confidential to the maximum extent possible, as should all communication with the APSSI staff members in question relating to the report.

    4.3 Section 3: Reporting misconduct through external mechanisms

    Notwithstanding the regulations in the Employee Handbook, protection against retaliation will be extended to an individual who reports misconduct to an entity or individual outside of the established internal mechanisms, where the criteria set out in subparagraphs (a), (b) and (c) below are satisfied:
    (a) Such reporting is necessary to avoid:

    1. a significant threat to public health or safety; or
    2. substantive damage to APSSI’s operations; or
    3. violation of national or international laws with immediate adverse impact on life or property; and

    (b)The use of internal mechanisms is not possible because:
          1. at the time the report is made, the individual has reasonable grounds to believe that he/she will be subjected to retaliation by the person(s) he/she should report to pursuant to the established internal mechanism; or
          2.it is likely that evidence relating to the suspected misconduct will be concealed or destroyed if the individual reports to the person(s) he/she should report to pursuant to the established internal mechanisms; or
          3.the individual has previously reported the same information through the established internal mechanisms, and APSSI has failed to inform the individual in writing of the status of the matter within six months of such a report; and

    (c)The individual does not solicit or accept payment or any other benefit, directly or indirectly, for the individual or any other person, or from any party for making such a report.

    When circumstances require that such reports be made outside of the established APSSI internal mechanisms, preference must be given to making a report directly to the Executive Director.

    4.4 Section 4: Protection of an Individual who has suffered retaliation

    4.4.1 Amendment of negative consequences suffered

    If retaliation against an individual is established, the Executive Director may, after considering the recommendations made by the Director of Finance and Administration or other concerned officer(s) and after consultation with the complainant, take appropriate measures to amend the negative consequences suffered as a result of the retaliatory action. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, the rescission of the retaliatory decision, including reinstatement, and, if requested by the complainant, transfer to another office or function for which the individual is qualified.

    4.4.2 Legal redress

    The procedures set out in this directive are without prejudice to the rights of an individual who has suffered retaliation to seek redress through the internal recourse mechanisms. An individual may raise a violation of present policy in any such internal recourse proceeding.

    4.5 Section 5: Action against the person who engaged in retaliation

    Acts or threats of retaliation constitute misconduct which, if established, will lead to administrative or disciplinary action.

    4.6 Section 6: Prohibition of retaliation against outside parties

    Any retaliatory measures (including threats) against a contractor or its employees, agents or representatives, or any other individual engaged in dealings with APSSI because such person has reported misconduct by APSSI personnel will be considered misconduct that, if established, will lead to administrative and/or disciplinary action.


    The Policy shall enter into force on the date of its approval as given in paragraph 6 below. It will be reviewed every two years or earlier depending on need and changing circumstances.


    In witness whereof, the following authorized officers of APSSI hereby append signatures in approval of the APSSI Whistle-blower Protection Policy, 2021






    Prof. Mokoboto-Zwane Theresa S.B.


    Mr. Tlhotse Motswaledi


    Board Chairperson, APSSI


    Executive Director, APSSI