The Ombudsman Association | Code of Ethics | Standards of Practice | Request for Information

The Ombudsman Association

Executive Office:
5521 Greenville Avenue
Suite 104-265
Dallas, Texas 75206

Phone: (214) 553-0043 (9 AM - 4 PM CST)
Fax: (214) 348-6621 (9 AM - 4 PM CST)


What is an Organizational Ombudsman ? An organizational ombudsman is a designated neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to managers and employees and/or clients of the employer: patients, students, suppliers or customers. Organizational ombudspeople work in a variety of environments such as: corporations, schools and universities, healthcare facilities, and in government agencies. Some organizational ombudspeople are external; they work as independent contractors to provide ombudsman services.

When providing assistance, an ombudsman uses a variety of skills which include counseling, mediation, informal fact finding, and upward feedback mechanisms that offer a range of options to those who contact the office. The ombudsman functions outside the ordinary line management structure and has access to anyone in the organization, including the chief executive officer.

The ombudsman role has a long and honorable tradition as the means of protecting against abuse, bias, and other improper treatment or unfairness. An organizational ombudsman follows in this tradition by identifying and bringing forth such issues in a confidential and neutral environment. Guided by the requirement of terms of reference for the function, the organizational ombudsman also follows the code of ethics and standards of practice of ombuds associations.

What is The Ombudsman Association ?

The Ombudsman Association (TOA) is a non-profit, international organization of professional organizational ombudspeople. TOA works to enhance the quality and value of the ombudsman profession by:

- establishing and communicating TOA's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
- developing and disseminating ethical guidelines
- training new and experienced ombudspeople in techniques of dispute resolution
- teaching principles of best practice
- providing information on current developments in the profession
- promoting communication through networking opportunities

PLUS ... Annual Conference, Publications and Additional Benefits

Ombudsman 101 Introduction to the basic principles of organizational ombuds practice with emphasis on neutrality, confidentiality, negotiation and setting up an office. (2 1/2 days)
Ombudsman 202 Focuses on standard of practice as applied to actual case handling, with special attention to negotiation theory, cross-cultural interactions and best practice in the ombudsman profession. Limited to practicing organizational ombudspeople who have one year's experience as an Ombudsman or have completed 101. (3 days)
Specialized courses such as:

Violence and Fear of Violence in the Organization
Dealing with Reprisal
Coaching and Motivating Visitors to Help Themselves

TOA's training staff are experienced, practicing, organizational, ombudspeople

Annual Conference

TOA members and associates convene each year. Attendees experience invaluable networking and information sharing opportunities within their profession. Conference topics often include ethics, diversity, cost-effectiveness, harassment, conflict of interest, confidentiality and many other pertinent subject matters.


TOA provides its members and associates with: a copy of The Ombudsman Handbook, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, along with a Member or Associate Certificate (suitable for framing); the most current information affecting the ombudsman profession via quarterly newsletters and bulletins; booklets designed to enhance ombudsman knowledge and skills in specific areas; discount rates for applicable training programs and the annual conference; access to TOA's mentor program; and support, camaraderie and networking opportunities.

The Ombudsman Association | Code of Ethics | Standards of Practice | Request for Information

1997 The Ombudsman Association