IOA Core Courses

Advanced Training for Ombuds

Presenter talking to group of participantsAbout the Courses

An IOA Core Course addresses fundamental knowledge and practices for ombuds. Core Courses form the basis of a curriculum for organizational ombuds. Ombuds at any experience level are invited to take this course, though it is generally taken by ombuds with less than three years of full-time practice. Additionally, we recommend the participants first take the IOA Foundations of the Organizational Ombuds Course or a similar entry-level course.

Upcoming Courses:

  • Monday, 27 February–Wednesday, 1 March | Coaching with Emotional Intelligence
  • Tuesday, 20 June–Friday, 23 June | Effective Communication
  • Wednesday, 13 September–Friday, 15 September | Mediation Theory 
View the IOA Calendar

Course Development: Share your knowledge and expertise!

IOA’s Professional Development Committee (PDC) initiated a new sustainable process for the development of Core Course offerings that are essential to new and experienced organizational ombuds.

A Core Course addresses fundamental knowledge and practice for organizational ombuds that utilize the set of knowledge domains (KDs) necessary to organizational ombudsmen. KDs were derived from previous Job Analyses initiated by the IOA Board of Directors and the CO-OP® Certification Board. KDs currently constitute the basis for the CO-OP® assessment. IOA members who have content expertise are invited to develop these new replicable Core Courses.

The intent of the Core Course development process is three-fold:  

  1. To develop a set of Core Course curricula that can be offered repeatedly and utilize a variety of trainers
  2. To provide a consistent and inclusive process for all Core Course development
  3. To provide a stipend for Core Course designers.

Core Courses are designed to be taught by a variety of instructors, for an average class size of 30 participants, and will be offered on an annual basis.

Core Course topics have been selected to address the fundamental knowledge needed for ombuds practice. We encourage full-time practicing ombuds with less than three years of experience to participate in this course, though this course can be taken by ombuds looking to get a refresh on the fundamentals.

Core Courses Topics will Include: 

  • Effective Communication
  • Measuring Effectiveness and Value
  • Addressing Issues
  • Psychological, Sociological, and Systemic Theories
  • Cultural Understandings, Legal and Ethical Considerations
  • Conflict Management
  • Outreach and Education
  • Policies, Procedures, and Organizational Culture
  • Mediation Theory and Skills for Ombuds

Become an Instructor or Help Set Up a Course

The Professional Development Committee (PDC) is tasked with identifying qualified instructors and presenters who are willing to share skills and knowledge with ombuds from around the world. The PDC is excited to present its new Instructor Interest Form, which allows IOA members to apply to become an instructor or presenter for many of IOA's training opportunities. 

Learn More & Apply

Core Course RFPs

Additionally, through our Request for Proposal (RFP) process, the PDC is currently seeking individuals to develop and test teach two replicable core courses for ombuds professionals. Please review the two open RFPs below.

We hope that you will consider submitting a proposal. Please visit the Course Proposal Steps page for more details.

Lastly, we encourage members to consider volunteering for the Professional Development Committee (PDC) to help review Core Course proposal submissions. Both opportunities provide a chance to positively influence the quality of IOA’s trainings, the expertise of its practitioners and to collaborate with other IOA members towards these goals.


The PDC recognizes that the labor intensity in creating a replicable course is substantial. While we will be offering a stipend, we know that this does not adequately compensate the effort which will be involved. This is to acknowledge that we are also appealing to developers’ desire to strengthen IOA’s educational efforts, reputation, and overall success. The PDC-CC will collaborate with the chosen developer(s) to make the course development process as efficient and successful as possible.

The stipend is subject to contract and will provide specific details, including the developer’s right to adapt and teach the course in settings separate from IOA. A $4,200 stipend is offered for the development of a two-day Core Course and a $2,500 stipend is offered for the development of a one-day Core Course. If two or more individuals submit a joint proposal that is accepted, the stipend will be divided based on their individual agreement. In some cases, non-stipend contracts for materials use may be negotiated.