The top three news items about Organizational Ombuds stories 2012 are...
3. IOA Compensation Survey Showed Ombuds Earnings Stagnated
-- Three years after its last survey of the profession, IOA found that most Ombuds salaries have been growing slowly. Pay in the academic sector in 2010 increased by 0.6% to 1%, while government Ombuds saw an increase of 1.6% or less. Corporate Ombuds were a bright spot: compensation in that sector rose 3.5%, far outpacing inflation for the year. The IOA survey also collected a range of data about Ombuds' practices not previously quantified.
2. Baker Hughes Creates an Ombuds Program for 24,000 Employees -- In September, the
Fortune 200, oilfield services company headquartered in North Houston,
Texas opened an IOA-compliant Ombuds Office (“o3”) that will serve its employees in North America. (The progam will be extended to about 5,000 Canadian emplyoees in 2014.) It is extremely rare, unfortunately, that prominent multinational, public corporations spontaneously create robust Ombuds programs. For this reason, the Baker Hughes program is significant and commendable.
1. ACCUO Adopts Standards of Practice
-- In June, the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons finally endorsed its first Standards of Practice. Although the Standards are intended to serve as a guide for Canadian post-secondary Ombuds offices, they are an important reference for all Organizational Ombuds. Indeed, the ACCUO Standards are one of only two statements of principles published by professional Ombuds association. (IOA's being the other.) It is also significant that ACCUO's Standards are remarkably different than IOA's. ACCUO's Standards comprise four tenets: Independence; Impartiality; Confidentiality; and Accessibility. The Standards also identify five functions and responsibilities of Organizational Ombuds: Information and Advice; Intervention (conflict resolution and investigation); Recommendations; Reporting; and Integrity of Service. The announcement from ACCUO was inexplicably muted, yet this new perspective on the duties and role of Ombuds deserves much more attention and discussion.
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Related posts: The Ombuds Decade in Review; The Ombuds Year in Review: 2010; The Ombuds Year in Review: 2011 (Part I); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2011 (Part II); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2011 (Part III); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2012 (Nos. 8-10); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2012 (Nos. 4-7).