- refers to a system for obtaining information that investigators in companies and public institutions use to open up a confidential communication channel for their employees as well as third parties (persons professional connected to the company/institution). This can be used to report misconduct (observed wrongdoing) and/or (potential) breaches of regulations (laws).

Reporting-systems include telephone hotlines, web-based systems and combined mechanisms for secure communication of misconduct and breaches of rules. Differences exist in the temporal and local accessibility of the communication platform as well as in the secure anonymity of the reporting person.

Code of Conduct (CoC)

- describes a formal regulatory framework that defines the basic principles for behaviour within a company/public institution and with external partners/stakeholders. It serves primarily as a guideline for legally and ethically correct behaviour, sets out the company's/public institution's position on corporate ethics and integrity and is intended to raise awareness among members of the company/public institution accordingly.


- also known in the German-speaking world as “Hinweisgeber*in, Enthüller*in oder Aufdecker*in” - is the Anglicism for a person who publishes information of importance to the public from a secret or protected context.

The origin of the term is not clearly proven. There may be a semantic relationship to the German term "verpfeifen". Possible origins include English police officers who use a whistle to draw attention to a crime, as well as football referees who blow the whistle to interrupt the game after a breach of the rules.

Due to the negative association with the German translation "jemanden verpfeifen", the term "Hinweisgeber*in" is more commonly used in the German-speaking world. In the English version of the EU-Whistleblower-Directive, the term "whistleblower" is only used in the recitals, otherwise the term "reporting person" is always used.