April 01, 2022

IOA Updates Standards of Practice

International Ombudsman Association's Board of Directors has approved updates to the documents that define professional standards for the Organizational Ombuds profession. The IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics were originally drafted in 2009 as part of the merger of the associations predecessors, The Ombudsman Association and the University and College Ombuds Association. The revisions do not significantly alter the parameters of Ombuds' practices.

Here is the full announcement by the IOA Board:
We are pleased to announce that the IOA Board of Directors approved the final, revised Standards of Practice (SOP) and Code of Ethics (COE) at its meeting on 17 March 2022. The new documents are now in effect and are available for download on the IOA website in English. Translations to additional languages will be available later this spring.

The final, approved SOP and COE incorporate additional changes to the previous drafts shared with members in January 2022, based on member input provided through the recent online survey and Town Halls. A summary of the final round of changes, as well as an updated chart comparing the original SOP with the new approved SOP, is available below.

We understand that it will take some time for ombuds offices to make corresponding updates to materials such as office charters and policy documents, website and marketing materials, and any other references to the SOP or COE. We encourage all organizational ombuds to begin making these changes. Please be sure to link any references to the SOP and COE to this link:


Thank you to all IOA members who engaged in reviewing and providing feedback throughout the revision process as well as the many volunteers who contributed to drafting the revisions over the past six years. Particular thanks goes to the most recent IOA Board working group, including David Carver, Bruce MacAllister, Steven Prevaux, and Chuck Howard. [Internal links omitted.]

(Independent Voice.)

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