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Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice (3 Days)

This course covers the fundamentals of the organizational ombudsman role. It provides basic information and training for the organizational ombudsman by emphasizing the principles of confidentiality, neutrality, independence, and informality.

The 3 day course focuses on how the ombudsman works with the visitor to the office as well as how they act as a change agent within their organization. The course will allow you to practice key ombudsman skills of listening, asking questions, clarifying, generating options, and moving to actions throughout the ombudsman Process. In addition, an experienced and highly committed faculty of ombudsmen will share best practices around setting up an office and evaluating and communicating the effectiveness of the office.

Who should attend?

The course will benefit the recently-appointed ombudsman, individuals interested in becoming an ombudsman, or anyone desiring to establish an ombudsman function in industry, government, higher education, and public or private social services agencies.

As a result of this program you will learn:

  • How the role, scope, and duties of today's ombudsman began and evolved
  • The four basic principles of the organizational ombudsman role: neutrality, independence, confidentiality, and informality.
  • Why confidentiality is essential to the practice, how to maintain confidentiality
  • How to listen as a neutral, including effective techniques for interviewing and inquiring, reflective listening, reframing, identifying issues, and providing options
  • How to manage and work with conflict by employing a battery of skills including listening, coaching, and negotiation techniques
  • How to decide which intervention would be most effective and how to provide upward feedback to management
  • How to set up and operate an ombudsman office, including the fundamentals of how to log concerns, report to management, and design reports to track issues
  • How to align the ombudsman function with the mission, values, and culture of the organization
  • How to promote the ombudsman role and function, including ways to gain and keep management support

The Next Steps for New or Growing Programs (1 Day)

This course will follow and compliment the Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice course.  This course will concentrate on how to communicate the value and benefits of an ombudsman function internally to management who are considering starting an ombudsman office, and from the outside if you are an entrepreneur.

PREREQUISITES: Completion of Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice


  • How to identify the benefits and value of an ombudsman function
  • How to identify the benefits and value of an ombudsman function
  • How to present thebenefits and value of an ombudsman function to an organization
  • How to design the ombudsman function to fit your organization
  • How to market the internal independent ombudsman
  • How to identify a good ombudsman
  • How to identify an organization "ripe" for the creation of the ombudsman function