Is the AFA Ombuds a confidential resource?

Yes. Your communication with the Ombuds is considered privileged, confidential, and off-the-record. You may consult with the Ombuds without divulging your name or any identifiable information. The principle of confidentiality helps create a safe place to voice concerns, evaluate issues, and identify options in discussions with the Ombuds.

Consistent with the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, the only exceptions to the Ombuds confidentiality principle are i) when, during the course of communications with the Ombuds, permission to disclose has been given to the Ombuds, and the Ombuds determines it is appropriate and has agreed to do so, or ii) when the Ombuds determines that there is an imminent risk of serious harm.

Except as required by law, communications with the Ombuds are made with the understanding that the Ombuds will not provide documents, testify, attend, or participate in any formal or legal proceeding.

Why does the AFA have an Ombuds?

The Ombuds role reflects the AFA commitment to the AFA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. The Ombuds provides a resource for those who have concerns related to upholding the Code; this includes those who have observed a possible violation, have been harmed by a violation, or are seeking clarification.

The Ombuds is available to informally discuss concerns, develop options, problem-solve, create paths for self-advocacy, and make informed choices about the best path forward. The Ombuds also assists the AFA in identifying issues that appear to be a source of problems to the AFA or its members.