Continued use of the CO-OP® credential requires recertification every four years. Recertification demonstrates that the practitioner has kept abreast of developments in the field and has maintained a level of professional knowledge consistent with status as a certified practitioner.

The certification period begins with the date that certification (or recertification) is granted by the Board of Certification. This date may be found on your CO-OP® certificate. The certificant may apply for recertification at any time during his or her final year of certified status, but it is suggested that candidates begin the process at least 60 days in advance of the expiration of current certification to avoid a lapse. A certificant who does not recertify prior to the expiration of the current four-year certification period will be treated as a new candidate. The Appeals Committee may consider requests for exceptions to this policy.

Recertification will not be granted to those practitioners whose credential has become invalid because they have served in a position described as an "organizational ombudsman" which does not permit adherence to IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, or to those whose use of the credential was revoked through the procedures of the Ethics Complaint Procedure. A certificant applying for recertification is not required to document additional experience in the organizational ombudsman role after the date of the original certification.

Recertification is contingent upon documentation of 60 Professional Development Hours (60 PDHs) of continuing professional education during the applicant's current four-year period of certification. PDHs will be calculated on an hour-for-hour basis. Thus, attendance at an approved three-hour workshop will be credited as three PDHs. However, the sixty hours do not need to be evenly distributed among the four years. That is, 15 PDHs per year are not required; an applicant may have five PDHs one year and 25 another year. The application for recertification must also be accompanied by payment of the current re-certification fee.

PDHs are credited for educational programs that are approved by the Board of Certification Recertification Committee. These courses must be related to the organizational ombudsman role and must fall under one or more of the three major content domains (listed below) that comprise the organizational ombudsman Job Analysis, which are also the subject matter bases for the certification examination:

  • Recognize Ethical Principles and Foundational Theories
  • Apply Ethical Principles and Foundational Theories While Working with Individuals
  • Apply Ethical Principles and Foundational Theories While Working with Organizations

PDHs are counted from the beginning to the end of a single class, conference session, workshop, or training program, even if there is a brief "stretch" or refreshment break during that time. A longer break between sessions, such as a one-hour lunch break, for example, will not be counted toward PDHs. Thus, a half-day course from 9 a.m. until Noon would count as 3 PDHs. A half-day course from 8:30 a.m. until Noon would be 3.5 PDHs. A full-day course from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break would be 7 PDHs. Two separate morning conference sessions, each 1½ hours in length, with a break in between, would count for 3 PDHs. However, no more than 15 PDHs will be counted for a single course (such as a 40-hour workshop or a full semester college class).

Online courses will be accepted for PDH credit if they are administered in such a way that proof of attendance can be documented.

In addition to receiving recertification credit for course or training program attendance, applicants may also receive PDHs for serving as a presenter or trainer. The content of such presentations or teaching must fall under one or more of the three major content domains of the organizational ombudsman Job Analysis (see above).  Applicants may receive credit at the rate of one PDH for each hour of presenting or teaching; in addition, applicants may receive credit for preparation time at the rate of one hour of preparation time (i.e. one PDH) for each hour of presenting. However, during the four-year period a maximum of 15 hours of PDH credit will be awarded for presentation and preparation time (i.e., a maximum of 7.5 PDHs may be earned for preparing for 7.5 hours of presenting).

Applicants may also receive up to an additional 15 hours of PDHs for mentoring (at the rate of one PDH for each hour pf mentoring, up to a maximum of 15 PDHs) as well as an additional 15 hours of PDHs for writing/publishing, etc. (at the rate of one PDH for each published page, up to a maximum of 15 PDHs).

Examples include:
  • Participating in the IOA Mentoring Program with an assigned mentee  (the person who is mentored could serve as the verifier)
  • Writing and publishing books and articles with content related to the seven domains of the organizational ombudsman Job Analysis, at the rate of one PDH per published page (a copy of the publication would serve as verification).

If you are planning an event and are seeking pre-approved PDH credit for that event, you are encouraged to contact Elaine Shaw, Chair of the Recertification Committee well in advance of the event.  Please submit both the agenda and program description (a synopsis of each presentation) along with the running time of each presentation. To receive credit, the presentation must fit into one of the three content domains related to the organizational ombudsman role discussed above.

Documentation submitted in a language other than English for PDH credit must be translated into English in order to receive consideration for any PDH credit.

The Recertification Application Form is attached. The form requires that the applicant complete a Professional Development Hours Documentation Form for each training session or other professional development activity attended or accomplished, including title, instructor/presenter, date, and time, or other descriptive details, plus a description of its relevance to organizational ombudsman practice, and either the signature of a "verifier" of attendance or participation, or a copy of an official certificate of attendance, or other documentation to verify participation. In addition to the Recertification Application Form (and required accompanying documentation and fee), the applicant must also submit a signed statement. If the applicant is approved for recertification, this Agreement will be counter-signed by an appropriate representative of the Board of Certification and returned to the recertified practitioner. Applicants are also asked to affirm that, since receiving certification, they have not served in a position described as an "organizational ombudsman" which did not permit adherence to the IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. If the course or activity content, or the standards of practice of a position described as "organizational ombudsman" are not sufficiently clear, the Recertification Committee may request more detailed information.

If a certified individual is unsure whether or not a particular course program will be accepted for PDH credit, the first part of the Professional Development Hours Documentation Form (without the verification section) may be submitted to the Recertification Committee for their response before the applicant participates in the course or program.

The Recertification Committee will endeavor to respond to applications for recertification within 30 days.

Please submit your application and all materials via email to certification@ombudsassociation.org

Once the Recertification Committee has reviewed your emailed packet, they will contact you to mail any hard-copy documents needed (specifically the Recertification Agreement Form).


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