Professional Standards

The Ombudsperson at Simon Fraser University is a member of The Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons (ACCUO). The ACCUO is a bilingual (English and French), independent association of ombudspersons in colleges and universities in Canada. The Ombudsperson is also a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). The mission of the International Ombudsman Association is to support and advance the global Organizational Ombudsman profession and ensure that practitioners work to the highest professional standards. The Office is also a member of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman (FCO) and operates in accordance with the Ethical Principles of Ombuds Practice. 

The Ombudsperson is Certified by FCO through Osgoode Law School in Essentials of Practice.

ACCUO strives for the promotion of fairness and respectful learning and working environments in colleges and universities through the establishment of ombudsperson services in post-secondary institutions in Canada. In support of its members and the development of the ombuds profession, ACCUO promotes the principles of independence, impartiality, confidentiality, and accessibility in the practice of ombuds work.

The mission of ACCUO is to:

  • Promote the role of Ombudsperson and foster its understanding;
  • Act as a central resource on the theory and practice of ombudsmanship;
  • Promote the presence of ombuds services within colleges and universities;
  • Provide professional development opportunities to current and potential members;
  • Develop and promote professional standards for its members;
  • Share information about best practices among its members;
  • Sponsor research on issues of interest and concern to its members;
  • Encourage cooperation with other organizations dedicated to ombudsmanship.

The function of the Ombudsperson

Someone who fulfils an Ombudsperson function in a college or university normally does all or most of the following:

  1. Provides information and advice, and receives and investigates complaints;
  2. Respects confidentiality and acts in an impartial and objective manner;
  3. Maintains a standard of neutrality;
  4. Acts independently of the administrative structures of the institution and/or students' associations;
  5. Reports publicly on findings and recommendations and/or issues on annual report to the authority designated in the terms of reference of the Office. The power to recommend does not imply executive power to implement the recommendation.

In addition, most persons fulfilling an ombuds function have the power to investigate through access to persons and to records, files and so forth. 

For more information on these associations please visit their websites: