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Interest Groups

The British and Irish Ombudsman Association has different Interest Groups available for its voting members pertaining to those offices and schemes under the Ombudsman world. There are five Interest Groups, being the First Contact Interest Group, Communications Interest Group, HR Interest Group, Legal Interest Group and Research Interest Group.

First Contact Interest Group - History

The 1st meeting of the First Contact Interest Group was held on Friday, 30 November 2007 at the office of the Housing Ombudsman Service. Members of this new Interest Group were welcomed by the Chair. She noted that the catalyst for setting up this Interest Group had been recent developments in ‘front end’ and ‘gateway’ services in many schemes. Items such as the ones below are some of the points discussed in meetings of the First Contact Interest Group:

  • Capturing feedback
  • Key performance indicators for ‘first contact’ operations and results
  • How to measure success
  • Valuing diversity and accessibility
  • Early resolution of cases
  • Innovative ideas for reducing complaints
  • How to distinguish between a complaint and a request for service
  • Knowledge Management
  • Dealing with vulnerable complainants throughout the process (FOS casework advisor)
  • Dealing with abusive complainants
  • Complaint-handling systems
  • Communicating impartiality
  • Monitoring the quality of decisions
Our office is committed in attending ‘First Contact’ Interest Group (Our Public Relations Officer attended on the 15th April 2011) meetings or any other kind of Interest Group meetings if the Ombudsman thinks it will be beneficiary to our office.