IOA 2020 Pre-Conference Foundations Course

Professional Development  

What Is a Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course?


The Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course covers the fundamentals of the organizational ombudsman role by emphasizing the principles of confidentiality, neutrality, independence, and informality. Learn how to work with visitors to the office as well as how to act as a change agent within your organization. Practice key ombuds skills of listening, asking questions, clarifying, generating options, and moving to actions throughout the ombuds process. In addition, an experienced and highly committed faculty of ombuds will share best practices around setting up an office and evaluating and communicating the effectiveness of the office.

This multi-day course is offered multiple times each year in various locations. Each course is three full days and limited to 35 participants or fewer, so be sure to register early!

Courses Fees

  • $1665 for IOA Members
  • $1995 for Non-Member
  • Bundle & Save: Foundations Course attendees can bundle and save on full conference registration. Get $100 off full conference registration by emailing the IOA office after you have signed up for the Foundations Course. We will send you a unique discount code to be used when completing your conference registration. 

Registration for this course will open soon.

*To receive the IOA member discount for this event, you must first become a member then proceed to event registration.


Why Take IOA's Foundations Course?

As a result of this program, you will learn:

  • How the role, scope, and duties of today’s ombuds began and evolved
  • The four basic principles of the organizational ombudsman role: neutrality, independence, confidentiality, and informality
  • Why confidentiality is essential to the practice and how to maintain confidentiality
  • How to listen as a neutral, including effective techniques for interviewing and inquiring, reflective listening, reframing, identifying issues, and providing options
  • How to manage and work with conflict by employing a battery of skills including listening, coaching, and negotiation techniques
  • How to decide which intervention would be most effective and how to provide feedback to management
  • How to set up and operate an ombudsman office, including the fundamentals of how to log concerns, report to management, and design reports to track issues
  • How to align the ombudsman function with the mission, values, and culture of the organization
  • How to promote the ombudsman role and function, including ways to gain and keep management support

This course applies to ombudsman programs in organizational settings. It does not address some features unique to other ombuds models such as classical, advocate, or legislative ombuds.

Who should attend?

The course will benefit the recently appointed ombuds, individuals interested in becoming ombuds, or anyone desiring to establish an ombuds function in industry, government, education, and public or private social services agencies.


Additional Pre-Conference Learning

Attendees also have the opportunity to take IOA's 2020 Pre-Conference Core Course. As with IOA's Foundations Course, core courses address fundamental knowledge and practice for new ombuds (those with less than three years of full-time practice) or for ombuds who desire to learn or refresh such fundamentals.

Learn More About Core Course.