2021 IOA Member Updates


We would like to thank IOA's  1,000+ members for participating in our organization in 2021. Members' support and investment in the association help us continue striving toward our mission to advance the organizational ombuds profession worldwide.

Together we have faced many challenges over the past two years, yet our work has proven more valuable than ever. Despite the challenges, our member numbers have continued to grow, new ombuds offices are being opened, and we are welcoming new and aspiring practitioners to our community on a regular basis. Read more about the progress we have made and the direction we are heading below.

Taking Action in 2021: Striving to Deliver More

To meet the needs of our growing organization the IOA Board of Directors developed the 2021-2024 IOA Strategic Direction. Here are a few highlights of our progress: 


Goal 1

Ombuds have the capacity and tools to position themselves as essential contributors and trusted advisors in their organizations.

  • We launched the Ombuds Effectiveness Project to develop tools and resources for Ombuds to demonstrate value to their organizations. More to come in 2022.
  • IOA's Professional Development Committee conducted the 2021 Needs Assessment Survey to assess learning gaps and interests in order to improve and develop new professional development programs.
  • In 2021, IOA hosted nine Virtual Foundations courses providing training for more than 200 practicing ombuds.

Goal 2

Organizational leaders in key sectors understand and value the ombuds function and IOA.

  • IOA's Executive Director, Chuck Howard led outreach to a variety of organizations to help set up new ombuds programs.
  • The Executive Director and IOA members gave presentations throughout the year at conferences and meetings.
  • We are continuing to circulate important news about our profession via social media, the Independent Voice, and other publications. 

Goal 3

IOA operates effectively and has the financial resources to achieve its goals.

  • The IOA Board proposed and passed a list of revisions to the IOA Bylaws that restructure governance functions.
  • We developed plans to restructure and clarify Board, Committee, and Staff roles.
  • We developed a Leadership Onboarding Program and a Leadership Document Resource for all new Committee Chairs and Board members.
  • The Board developed a 3-year budget model. IOA remains financially healthy and able to fund strategic initiatives and continued growth of programs and a full-time Executive Director in 2022.

Goal 4

IOA has a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement.

  • We established the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee to assess and improve DEIB throughout all facets of the organization.
  • IOA Bylaws revisions are underway with the intention of expanding access to Board service and to change IOA’s name to use the more inclusive "ombuds" term.
  • We have been outlining a new website experience as well as planning for a new online community platform for ombuds networking.


Looking Toward the Future: Changes Coming in 2022

We are thankful for your contributions to IOA and we look forward to partnering with you in 2022 to continue supporting your professional growth. 

In support of IOA’s mission and goals, we will be expanding our member offerings in 2022. In line with these changes, we will be increasing IOA Full Member dues by $30—the first increase since 2015. These new funds will go toward the expansion of IOA programs and the delivery of new services and member benefits, including: 


Updated IOA Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics

IOA members will have the opportunity to review and comment on final revisions in early 2022.


An IOA Online Networking Community

A member-only platform with discussion groups and a detailed resource directory.


Additional Virtual Training

We will be offering more virtual courses in 2022, including, Foundations, Core Courses, and the Nuts & Bolts of Setting up an Ombuds Office.


An Outsourced Ombuds Directory

IOA will be offering a searchable directory to help connect organizations to members looking to provide outsourced ombuds services and consulting.


A More User-Friendly Website

Our team is hard at work designing a new menu structure and new pages with easier-to-find resources.

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