Guiding Principles

Ombuds Professional Standards

The Mount Holyoke Ombudsperson is a trained and certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP) and a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA).

The International Ombudsman Association (IOA) is the largest international association of professional organizational Ombudsmen practitioners in the world, representing more than 500 members from the United States and across the globe. IOA was officially formed in July 2005 following the merger of the University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA) and The Ombudsman Association (TOA).

The 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.

Based on the traditions and values of Ombudsman practice, the IOA Code of Ethics reflects a commitment to promote ethical conduct in the performance of the Ombudsman role and to maintain the integrity of the Ombudsman profession.  The Ombudsman shall be truthful and act with integrity, shall foster respect for all members of the organization he or she serves, and shall promote procedural fairness in the content and administration of those organizations’ practices, processes, and policies.

The Association supports organizational Ombudsmen worldwide working in corporations, universities, non-profit organizations, government entities and non-governmental organizations. Building on the traditions of TOA and UCOA, IOA offers a full roster of professional training and education programs for the practicing ombudsman professional and those interested in learning about our practice. In addition, the association works to support and promote the profession through strategic partnerships and communication with government agencies and other professional organizations as appropriate.