Membership Benefits

The International Ombudsman Association (IOA) is pleased to offer these valuable membership benefits:

  • Professional networkingWhere else can you find others who understand your daily challenges? The IOA has many networking opportunities including those at the Annual Conference, at Professional Development Courses offered during the year, through the community discussion forums and, of course, by reaching out to colleagues using the member’s only directory.
  • Member's Only section:  The Member's Only section of the website includes access to communities/discussion groups, the online directory of members, and valuable resources for the Ombuds.
  • IOA Code of EthicsThe IOA is dedicated to excellence in the practice of ombudsman work. The IOA Code of Ethics provides a common set of professional ethical principles to which members adhere in their organizational ombudsman practice. 
  • IOA Standards of Practice:  The IOA Standards of Practice are based upon and derived from the ethical principles stated in the IOA Code of Ethics. Each ombudsman office should have an organizational Charter or Terms of Reference, approved by senior management, articulating the principles of the ombudsman function in that organization and their consistency with the IOA Standards of Practice.
  • IOA Best Practices: The IOA Best Practices guide is intended to provide guidance to organizational ombudsmen in practicing according to IOA Standards of Practice and to the highest possible level of professionalism. Any questions or suggested revisions are welcome and should be sent to the Chair of the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee.
  • Guidance for Best Practices:  The IOA offers Guidance for Best Practices and Commentary on the American Bar Association Standards for the Establishment and Operation of Ombudsman Offices.
  • Updates from the IOA:  Members of the IOA receive updates from the IOA's Standing Committees, Task Forces and Uniform Data Reporting Categories.
  • Discounted fees:  Members of the IOA receive discounted fees for Professional Development Courses and the Annual Conference.
  • Resource materials:  Members of the IOA receive resource materials in their new member packet and also receive discounts on purchasing additional resource materials.
  • IOA newsblog: The members-only newsblog keeps IOA members updated on Association news and other developments in the organizational ombuds practice.
  • Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® or CO-OP® credential: The IOA offers certification testing for the CO-OP credential to advance your career, enhance the status and credibility of the profession, and present a reliable image to the public. IOA members have an opportunity to network and learn from certified practitioners.
  • Mentoring Program: The IOA makes the transition to ombudsing a positive and rewarding experience by connecting a novice Ombudsman with an experienced ombudsman through the Mentoring Program. This personal relationship provides the new ombudsman an opportunity to have an “ombudsman friend,” to get advice, and to discuss the ombudsman profession. To qualify, Members* must meet the following criteria: (a) a practicing ombuds and (b) practiced for less than one year, and (c) be an IOA member in good standing.
  • Discounted Membership to ABA Dispute Resolution Section & ABA Ombuds: IOA members can receive a discounted membership to the American Bar Association (ABA) Dispute Resolution Section & ABA Ombuds. This new membership offering gives you a one-year associate membership to the ABA, newsletters, journal, website and to the Dispute Resolution (DR) Section and Ombuds Committee. Download the application. Visit the website.

Complete the 2018 IOA Membership Application now.

International Ombudsman Association

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