Role of the Ombudsman
An organizational ombudsman is a designated neutral and mediator who "works with individuals and groups in an organization to explore and assist them in determining options to help resolve conflicts, problematic issues or concerns, and to bring systemic concerns to the attention of the organization" and "operates in a manner to preserve the confidentiality of contacts, maintains a neutral/impartial position with respect to the concerns raised, works at an informal level of the organizational system, and is independent of formal organizational structures." *
The IB Ombudsman is also accessible to external members of the IB community, such as schools, associations, administrators, coordinators, educators, parents and candidates, with applicable IB-related issues and concerns.
As an independent channel that listens, the Ombudsman provides a safe and confidential environment for stakeholders to bring and discuss concerns. The Ombudsman is a voluntary and off-the-record resource, and information on the Ombudsman may also be presented to stakeholders by another IB resource as a possible option.
The four main characteristics that enable an organizational ombudsman to serve his or her function include:
- Confidentiality (only exception is the threat of imminent harm to self or others)
The Ombudsman also listens to the IB community for helpful feedback regarding the IB with a view towards organizational improvements. The Ombudsman channels such feedback to the appropriate IB leadership as appropriate.
What the Ombudsman may and may not do: