The Respect Compliance Office (RCO) can be contacted by any person who feels that his or her physical or mental health and/or personal integrity have been affected by acts such as sexual harassment, mobbing, discrimination, violence, etc. in the workplace or at school.
The RCO can be called upon to deal with any situation that has not found a consensual resolution, either autonomously or through the Trust and Support Network (TSN). Its legal basis is the Directive on Psychosocial Risks (LEX 1.8.3).
If the report comes from a witness and not a victim, the Directive on the whistleblowing process (LEX 1.8.1) applies. In this case, it is the EPFL External Ombudsperson who must be contacted.
The person who intends to denounce an attack on his or her personal integrity to the RCO must draft a written complaint setting out the details of the situation, trying to provide as much information as possible.
The RCO will advise on solutions in the form of mediation, HR follow-up, or any other action or form of support deemed appropriate.
If the complaint cannot be dealt with internally, the RCO draws up a report for the attention of the EPFL President, who may then decide to launch an external investigation.
Once the investigation report has been drawn up, the body to which the complaint has been referred forwards it to the President of EPFL with an indication of any measures to be taken.
The RCO is composed of the Respect Compliance Officer, a coordinator and other representative members of the EPFL community, appointed ad personam by the senior management. This balanced body acts in complete independence. All its members are bound by an obligation of confidentiality.
- Emmanuel Noyer, Respect Compliance Officer
- Ofelia Tursi, RCO Coordinator
- Annalisa Buffa, Associate Vice President for Graduate Education
- Françoise Chardonnens, Director of Legal Affairs
- Kathryn Hess Bellwald, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Outreach
- Claudia Noth, Director of the department of Human Resources
- Eric Du Pasquier, Delegate for Safety, Prevention and Health
The person who considers herself or himself aggrieved and who has filed a complaint may apply to the RCO for assistance in the form of psychological follow-up sessions with a qualified therapist.
The person implicated may also request psychological support.
The confidentiality of the process and the information of the person making the report is safeguarded as much as possible.
The release of its first publicly available annual report is just one way that EPFL’s Respect Cell is reinforcing its visibility, effectiveness, and transparency.
mmanuel Noyer joined EPFL on 1 May 2023 as Respect Compliance Officer, with responsibility for handling complaints of harassment, violence and discrimination. His experience at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) means he’s fully prepared to take on this new role.