Do you want to improve the performance of your Office? Do you want to demonstrate value for money? Would you like to learn from the best practice of others? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then peer review may be a good tool to improve your office’s service and to learn from best practices in other offices.
Comparing our structure, legal basis, methods and effectiveness with others can be potentially transformational. It can create a driver for strategic improvement, or provide validation that programmes of change have succeeded in placing your office at the forefront of practice and performance.
A peer review approach has recently been used by Ombudsman offices within the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) community to help assess their performance. These reviews, undertaken by fellow Ombudsman offices, have been important in identifying areas of good performance; validating where processes and outcomes are working well; validating the processes used in individual cases and helping offices understand where further improvements can be made.
The 4th issue of the IOI Best Practice Series provides guidance on how such peer reviews can be carried out, what key points need to be considered by both sides – the Office requesting the review and the Office undertaking the review – when planning and conducting a peer review and how to report and deal with the outcome of the review process.
The IOI's Best Practice Papers series provides guidance material in the form of a series of papers to address the key features which inform strong and independent control mechanisms.