IOA Mentoring Program

Eligibility & Application

The mission of the IOA Mentoring Program is to help new ombuds transition into their ombuds role in a positive and rewarding way by connecting them with an experienced ombuds. This personal relationship provides the new ombuds an opportunity to have an ombuds friend, to gain assistance, and discuss the profession and its challenges and opportunities.

The Mentoring Program is available to all IOA Members who are practicing organizational ombuds.

  • Mentors must have three years of experience in an ombuds role.
  • Mentees should have less than one year of experience in an ombuds role.

Are you an aspiring ombuds who does not currently hold an ombuds position? View our list of resources for Aspiring Ombuds

"I strongly recommend the mentoring program offered by IOA. I took advantage of the program as a new Ombudsman, full of excitement about the role, but more than a little nervous about what to expect. I was paired with a highly experienced mentor who understood my sector and was incredibly supportive of my journey as a new Ombudsman. Having someone to "lean on" outside of my organization helped me develop into a skilled, confident Ombudsman ready to serve my organization!" - Ish Baki 

Mentoring Program Application


Mentors must be practicing ombuds with at least three years of experience; mentees must be practicing ombuds with less than one year of experience. For Mentees, we consider the type of organization for whom you work, the size of the organization, your constituents, and your geographic region when matching you to a Mentor.

Duties of a Mentor

  • The Mentor will contact the Mentee to introduce him/herself and explain their role in the Mentoring Program
  • The Mentor will make plans to have consistent communication with the Mentee and set expectations depending upon the Mentee's availability and time commitment
  • The Mentor will know, or find out, where to send the Mentee for specific resources
  • The Mentor will share information about the IOA and will have a clear understanding of IOA Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, and Best Practices
  • When possible, the Mentor will make arrangements to meet the Mentee in person at IOA's Annual Conference
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