June 19, 2017

International Ombudsman Association Releases 2015 Compensation Report

IOA has published the results of a survey of Ombuds compensation, including salary, bonus, and budget information.  The report is meant to supplement a survey of Ombuds practices released earlier this year.  Members of the professional association were queried in 2016 about compensation rates in 2015.  

Here's the IOA summary:
The 2015 IOA salary survey (data collected in 2016) reports information from members of a relatively young profession — a profession where effectiveness and importance to the bottom line are being widely studied. This survey brings together many different variables and reflects compensation offered by a variety of employers who appear to use somewhat different salary equity criteria. With respect to response rate and the reporting of salary data in this report, please note that to protect the anonymity of participants, salary data are not shown in categories where there were only a few respondents. We would like to advise the reader to interpret this survey report with appropriate care. IOA invited and included members and associate members of IOA who were practicing ombuds as of December 31, 2015, to participate in the survey. 
The report costs $50 for the public or $25 for members.  (IOA Store.)

Related posts: IOA Completes Ombuds Compensation Survey; International Ombudsman Association Publishes 2014 Annual Report; IOA Annual Report: Association Builds on Strategic Plan in 2015; IOA Belt Tightening Means Fewer Meals at Annual Conference; IOA Announces Agenda for Minneapolis Conference; International Ombudsman Association Announces 2017 Board Election Results; IOA Publishes Survey of Ombuds Practices.


  1. So, to recap:
    1. We have to pay for something that was previously free;
    2. The data is already two years old;
    3. The data come from only a subset of the profession (IOA members who chose to respond); and
    4. Not even a summary or indication of types of data is available.
    I'm guessing that the market for this product is pretty small.
    Even a few tweaks would help. How about an executive summary? Are there any significant or interesting observations on the data? How about a press release?
    -Angry Ombuds

    1. I agree with these complaints. Mostly, I would appreciate some general information about the results that might make HR interested in buying the full report.

  2. I appreciate the posting of these comments and appreciate their being affirmed by Tom. As one of the persons who have done (all) the association compensation and practice surveys, pro bono, since 1984, may I respond? The survey committee, and especially Tim and Jennifer, put in literally hundreds of hours. Tim himself worked hundreds of hours to try to bring this last survey into the 20th c. (We by the way, know we are not alone in this kind of volunteer work for IOA. It is really time consuming to build a profession.) Here are some options for us all to join the 21st c: 1) we routinely offer a compensation and practice survey every two years. We communicate to members that salary data mean little to employers, without the practice data attached. (email me if this is not clear?. 2) We figure out how to get ~100% reporting from practicing OOs, because a high reporting rate is the fundamental platform for the data being useful. (Should we make the survey a condition of joining IOA? Please help us with better ideas? Our giving the salary data free to those who took the survey was not a sufficient incentive.) The reasons the salary data are not very useful is that they represent so few OOs. Some OOs do not join IOA. Many members of IOA, maybe half, are "too busy" to take surveys. AND, many of those who did do the practce survey ignored the compensation survey. In the 1980's Mary Simon and I personally telephoned everyone. Please help us with ideas? And thank you very much indeed for your interesst ~ mary rowe

  3. I really like the idea of making membership conditional on handing in a finished survey. Or maybe meals at the conference are only offered to those that have completed the survey? Food seems to be a big motivator with IOA members.

    We need to do more as a profession to make it easier to lobby 1. for OO that practice to standards and 2. to be paid what we are worth.

    Thank you Mary, Tim and Jennifer for your work with a very small sample size. It is on membership that it is not a bigger sample size. Shame!