The university near Edinburgh, Scotland is actively developing a “centre of excellence for training, research, knowledge exchange and consultancy in ombudsman and complaint handling practice, and consumer affairs.”
The university recently announced that it will provide a three-day training course for members of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) in Vienna in September 2012 and has won recent contracts with the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) and the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. QMU was also the first university to provide approved accredited training for the British and Irish Ombudsman Association (BIOA). All four of these professional associations primarily serve Classical Ombuds.
The effort is being led by Carol Brennan, Director of the Consumer Insight Centre. In a press release, Brennan said, “These new contracts reflect Queen Margaret University’s commitment to provide industry relevant courses which equip ombudsman staff, both within the UK and internationally, to respond effectively to high levels of customer complaints about services. We look forward to working with ombudsman organisations from around the world and supporting their work through our high quality ombudsman and complaints handling courses.” So far, it does not appear that the university has added courses on Ombuds to its undergraduate or graduate curriculum. (QMU Press Release, Consumer Insight Centre, Ombudsman, Dispute Resolution and Complaint Handling Courses.)