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Use of the Credential Policy


The CO-OP® credential is intended to be used exclusively as a designation of an individual professional's knowledge and experience. An individual who possesses a current certification may use the credential, whether or not the individual continues to serve in an organizational ombudsman position that adheres to the IOA Code of Ethics (CoEs) and Standards of Practice (SoPs), provided that the individual does not serve in a position held out as an "organizational ombudsman" position (or equivalent) that does not permit the ombudsman to adhere to IOA CoEs and SoPs. Any individual who is functioning in a position described as an "organizational ombudsman," but who is not able to adhere to IOA CoEs and SoPs, must provide notice (in resumes and other communications and publications) that the certification status is no longer valid, and must notify the Board of Certification accordingly in writing. Certification will lapse after four years, unless the individual has successfully completed the recertification process.

An individual who serves in more than one position simultaneously is eligible to be licensed to use the credential as long as any position in which s/he functions as an "organizational ombudsman" permits adherence to the IOA CoEs and SoPs and otherwise meets the certification eligibility requirements. Any position in which the individual cannot adhere to IOA CoEs and SoPs may not be referred to or held out as an "organizational ombudsman" position; the ombudsman may not claim entitlement to certification status based on service in that position.

In some cases, an individual's license to use the certification credential can be suspended or revoked. Detailed information can be found in the Ethics Complaint Procedure for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners.

The certification credential may be used in a context and with media consistent with demonstrating professional credentialing, including but not limited to: office signage, resumes, websites, business cards, presentations, introductions, and electronic signatures. Some uses of the CO-OP® credential are not permitted - for example, to endorse any product, service or company; or as a company, product or brand name.

The certification credential, whether in name or logo form, is not to be altered or modified in any way: this includes, but is not limited to, any change in font or color, any distortion, any animation, any translation, or any combination with any other logo or graphic material. The use of the name Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® or the CO-OP® logo should always be accompanied by the symbol ®

International Ombudsman Association

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