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Ombuds & Organizational Dispute Resolution

Ombuds Services

An ombuds is a complaint-handling position that originated in Sweden over 200 years ago. In Canada, ombuds now work in many different contexts including broadcasting, downhill skiing, financial services and places of employment. Some ombuds are created by legislation with a public mandate but many are organizational in nature with private or semi private mandates that serve employees, purchasers of goods and services or other target groups. In some instances an ombuds-like function is performed on a case-by-case basis by a complaint handler, independent reviewer or customer service representative.

Sample Ombuds Mandates

Genevieve Chornenki provides organizational ombuds and ombuds-like services and has handled over 150 case-specific mandates. For instance,

  • As a contract ombuds in a unionized workplace Genevieve has looked into concerns that an organizational policy or procedure (such as a human rights and harassment procedure) was not followed or administered fairly, and (where a concern was founded) worked collaboratively with all interested parties to develop a remedial plan for implementation at appropriate levels
  • As an independent, arms length complaint-handler Genevieve has investigated complaints about arbitrators, administrators or experts in a cross-Canada dispute resolution program, and (where a complaint was founded) made remedial and/or quality control recommendations to the program
  • As an independent reviewer Genevieve has followed an organization's established procedure to determine whether a staffing competition involving multiple candidates was conducted in a way that respected the stated values of "transparency" and "fairness", and issued a reasoned report

Organizational Dispute Resolution ("ODR")

There are many dispute resolution programs and policies in Canada in contexts as diverse as industry, government, faith communities and organized sports, plus agencies, boards & commissions. Genevieve applies her dispute resolution knowledge and practical experience to help programs or their sponsors enhance their dispute resolution services. Working collaboratively, she provides information on ADR content, best practices and appropriate procedures, taking into account the legitimate needs of all relevant stakeholders.

Sample ODR Mandates

In a non-partisan consulting capacity Genevieve has,

  • Created dozens of program-specific materials such as:
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Glossaries
    • Information Bulletins
    • Intake Guides
    • Practice Directions
    • Report Forms
    • Standard Form Documents
    • Standardized Scripts
    • Templates for orders and awards
    • Terms of reference for processes like mediation and arbitration
  • Analyzed dispute resolution programs, policies or protocols, engaged in interactive discussions with relevant parties and proposed reasoned recommendations for alternative models or program revisions
  • Developed and administered feedback and survey instruments to help dispute resolution programs or their personnel learn how they are perceived and what their stakeholders want
  • Conducted 1,500 - 2,000 hours of course design and delivery for applied dispute resolution training that improved or developed relevant competencies for program personnel such as managers, staff, tribunal members, contract service providers and volunteer

Sample Ombuds & ODR Clients

Since 1989 Genevieve has provided Ombuds and/or Organizational Dispute Resolution services
to clients such as,

  • Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Canadian International Trade Tribunal
  • Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan
  • Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission
  • Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario
  • Copyright Board of Canada
  • County of Essex, Ontario
  • Department of Justice Canada
  • His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Regional Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Ontario
  • Licence Appeal Tribunal of Ontario
  • National Energy Board
  • National Judicial Institute
  • Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services
  • Ontario Power Authority
  • Ontario Power Generation
  • Parks Canada
  • Sport Dispute Resolution Centre for Canada
  • The Encon Group
  • University of Toronto