September 04, 2012

IOA Webinar Focuses on Ombuds-Support Role

A three-part webinar offered by the International Ombudsman Association will address how support staff work with Ombuds and their organizations.  “Performing the Ombudsman Support Role” will take place on October 22, 23, and 31, and will also be available as a recording.  The series is intended for Ombuds Assistants or Ombuds new to their position or experienced Assistants looking for new ideas.

Part 1- Standards of Practice and the Ombuds Support Role (Oct. 22, 2012, 1:00-2:30 pm ET)
Introduce the IOA Standards of Practice to the Ombudsman Assistant to help them understand how the standards impact their role and the practice of Ombudsmanry.. The focus will be on the key concepts of confidentiality, neutrality, informality and independence. The Assistant will also be enabled to identify the benefits and challenges of living these standards on a day- to- day basis.
Part 2- Best Practices for Working with the Visitor and Formal Partners (Oct. 23, 2012, 1:00-2:30 pm ET)
The attendees will learn about best practices implemented by experienced Ombuds Assistants to ensure compliance with the standards when managing both visitors and formal resources within the organization. Instructors will share practices for visitor intake, appointments, follow up, handling perceived “emergencies”, gathering trend data, and managing referrals.
Part 3- Best Practices for Maintaining the Office, Building Awareness and Understanding of the Ombudsman Program, and Communicating Effectiveness (Oct. 31, 2012 1:00-2:30 pm ET)
In Part 3 the Ombuds Assistant will gather best practices for creating an environment that is welcoming and safe for the visitor and the Ombudsman. The attendees will be introduced to phone, mail, computer and office access practices that can support the perception and reality of confidentiality. In addition, this session will cover ideas for building awareness and understanding of what the Ombuds Program can and can’t do and the role of the assistant in this process. Finally, the Assistant often manages a database of demographic information used to collect and later share trends gathered in the office. The instructors will share best practices for ensuring the safety of sensitive data.
The sessions can be taken as a package or individually.  The instructors are Wendy Friede, Ombudsperson/Principal of Friede Consulting Services, and  Donald Johnson, Director of the American Express Ombudsman Office. (IOA Professional Development.)

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