The plan would make membership open to any individual "who agrees to support and advance the mission of the IOA and its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics." This would replace the five current membership categories (Member, Associate Member, Affiliate Member, Student Affiliate Member, Retired Member) with just three (Member, Retired Member, and Student Affiliate). In addition, the criteria for service on the IOA Board of Directors--which runs the association and promulgates the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics--would limited to verified Organizational Ombuds experience and IOA membership
The IOA Board explains that the proposal stems from several reasons:
- Open membership up to be more inclusive;
- Ensure experienced and/or CO-OP certified IOA members are responsible for making decisions related to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics;
- Increase the number of eligible members to run for election to the Board of Directors; and
- Encourage members to pursue CO-OP certification.
Extensive details, including FAQ's, a chronology of the IOA Task Force, and survey results from membership, are provided on the IOA website. (IOA Board Memo re Membership Categories.)
Related posts: Proposal to Revise IOA Membership Categories Loses [Nov 2006]; IOA Annual Report Reveals Plans for Organizational and Strategic Change [May 2013]; IOA Annual Report: Association Builds on Strategic Plan in 2015;