Code of Ethics

The IB Office of the Ombudsman is established under the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA).

ETHICAL PRINCIPLES

Independence

The Ombudsman is independent in structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible within the organization.

Neutrality and Impartiality

The Ombudsman, as a designated neutral, remains unaligned and impartial. The Ombudsman does not engage in any situation which could create a conflict of interest.

Confidentiality

The Ombudsman holds all communications with those seeking assistance in strict confidence, and does not disclose confidential communications unless given permission to do so. The only exception to this privilege of confidentiality is where there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm.

Informality

The Ombudsman, as an informal resource, does not participate in any formal adjudicative or administrative procedure related to concerns brought to his/her attention. *

* French and Spanish translations available on the IOA website

The IB Ombudsman adheres to, and practices under, the IOA Standards of Practice and Best Practices, which are centered upon the core principles stated in the Code of Ethics.

(The IOA Standards of Practice and Best Practices are available from the Standards of Practice page on the IOA website)

The IB Ombudsman is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP) and follows the requirements of the CO-OP Board, including continuing education. For more information on certification, please visit the certification page on the IOA website.

It is important to know and understand that the IB Ombudsman does not participate in internal or external formal and/or adversarial processes, conduct formal investigations, advocate for the IB or a party, mandate policy, or determine outcomes of cases, or other actions that also may compromise the Ombudsman’s function as an independent, impartial, informal and confidential third party.

Although the IB Ombudsman does not receive or give notice to the IB of a problem, s/he can help direct someone to the appropriate place for that purpose if needed.

As an off-the-record resource, the Office will not maintain identifying records. However, it may collect certain statistical, non-identifying data for its own purposes, such as outreach activities.

Those in contact with the Office or Ombudsman are advised, and are assumed to have understood and agreed, that the IB Office adheres to, and will uphold, the IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which may not be waived.