Training for ombudsman staff and volunteers is critical for maintaining an effective long-term care ombudsman program. Training curricula and methods are constantly being revised and re-evaluated to better address a state’s needs and provide current information. The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center develops and collects materials and information that enhance and strengthen the training of paid and volunteer ombudsmen.
Materials included below have been either developed by the Center or have been shared with the Center by various state and local ombudsman programs.
- Documents Related to Training
- NORS Training Materials
- NORC Curriculum (Click here to access the new Online Training!)
- Training Programs and Inservices
- State Ombudsman Program Training/Certification Manuals
- NORC Trainings & Conference Calls/Webinars
- Other Conference Calls
- Ombudsman Best Practices
Best Practices: Training Programs for Ombudsmen (October 2000)
A resource for states in reassessing or revising their training programs for new ombudsmen.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Certification Survey (March 2010)
Coordinated by NORC and NASOP, this survey looks at certification and initial training requirements for long-term care ombudsmen. Forty-two states participated in the survey.
Training Videos Used by Ombudsmen (Updated May 2011)
This list is a starting point for compiling effective training tools. Thanks to all of the local and state ombudsmen and volunteer coordinators who contributed information for the compilation of this list. Please contact the Ombudsman Resource Center at (202) 332-2275 if your favorite videos are not on this list.
Volunteers in the LTCO Programs: Training, Certification, and Liability Coverage (December 1999)
A study of varied state ombudsman programs, their use of volunteers and training provided.
A four-part training module has been developed on the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) to instruct ombudsmen on how to record the work they do on behalf of residents, including visits to facilities, complaints, consultations, and more. Each state reports their data to the Administration on Aging, to be summarized into NORS.
Part I NORS Training Materials
- NORS Module I Training - Slides
- The Three C’s - Case, Complaint, Consultation - a definition of principles
- Three C’s Quiz
- Three C's Quiz With Answers
- September 15, 2011, Webinar - NORS Module I
Part II NORS Training Materials
- NORS Module II Training - Slides
- Basic Principles Part II - Coding, Verifying, and Closing Complaints
- Complaint Categories and Codes: A Guide for Ombudsmen
- Part II Beyond Basics Quiz (no answers)
- Part II Beyond Basics Quiz Answers
- Part II Complaint Categories Quiz (no answers)
- Part II Complaint Categories Quiz Answers
- September 29, 2011, Webinar - NORS Part II
Part III NORS Training Materials
- NORS Module III Training - Slides
- Basic Principles Part III - Verifying, Closing, Coding
- Complaint Disposition - Disposition Codes
- Verification, Disposition, Closing Quiz
- Verification, Disposition, Closing Quiz Answers
- February 1, 2012 Webinar - NORS Part III
Part IV NORS Training Materials
- Part IV Slides
- Part IV Agenda
- Part IV Quiz Introduction and Instructions
- Part IV Annotated Activity Chart
- Part IV Quiz
- Part IV Quiz with Answers
- March 7, 2012 Webinar - NORS Part IV
Workgroup to Improve NORS Consistency (WINC) Reviewed Questions & Answers - NEW
This page contains questions submitted to the WINC committee regarding the coding and recording of Ombudsman Activities. The questions are categorized by the NORS Ombudman Activities to which they pertain. The WINC develops answers to questions with input from the Administration on Aging. You will also find information on how to submit a question regarding NORS.
NORS Train the Trainer Session - 2011 Consumer Voice Conference
This video contains teaching tips and suggestions from NORC, AOA, and State and Local Ombudsmen who have many years experience with NORS Training.
Online Training Curriculum
This training translates the NORC curriculum, Equipping Long-Term Care Ombudsmen for Effective Advocacy: A Basic Curriculum (see below) into an online form. The teaching methods found in this training are based on principles of adult learning and grounded in LTCO values such as being resident directed.
Please Note! This online version of the NORC curriculum is meant to supplement your state training, and its completion does not automatically certify you as a long-term care ombudsman (LTCO). For more information, contact your State LTC Ombudsman Office.
Review these Technical Tips before accessing the Online Curriculum.
If you would like to work through each module individually, click on the links below.
- Module 1: History and Role of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- Module 2: The Aging Process
- Module 3: Residents' Rights
- Module 4: The Problem Solving Process - Investigation
- Module 5: The Problem Solving Process - Resolution
Online training ends here!
Equipping Long-Term Care Ombudsmen for Effective Advocacy: A Basic Curriculum - PDF version of the online training
This curriculum is designed to help states improve their basic training for local long-term care ombudsmen (LTCO). The teaching methods are based on principles of adult learning and grounded in LTCO values such as being resident directed. States should add specific state content where appropriate.
I. The History and Role of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
This module provides the history, development and unique aspects of the LTCOP. It may be used as a resource as well as a training tool for staff and volunteers.
- History and Role of the LTCOP Curriculum
- Teaching Notes
- History and Responsibilities Under the Older Americans Act (PPT)
- Code of Ethics (PPT)
- Unique Characteristics (PPT)
II. The Aging Process
Basic content on age related changes and their impact on daily functioning is designed to help ombudsmen know what to question. Information on myths about care, common illnesses and conditions and commonly prescribed drugs is included. The preface includes ideas for teaching. It may be used with the Louisiana LTCOP’s Ombudsman Training, Module 3-Aging, available from NORC.
III. Residents’ Rights
This module provides an understanding of residents’ rights and the role of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) in supporting residents in exercising their rights. It provides a way of thinking about residents’ rights and an approach for ombudsman work regardless of the specific issue. Topics covered include: empowerment as a basic LTCO approach; the principles underlying residents’ rights; specific residents’ rights provisions; how residents can be supported and encouraged in exercising their rights and the role of the LTCO.
- Curriculum Resource Material
- Teaching Notes
- Individualized Care Supported by Law (PPT)
- Intersection of Rights and Care Planning (PPT)
IV. The Problem-Solving Process: Investigation
This module provides training on complaint handling and investigation. The chapter looks at the ombudsman approach to problem-solving, policy considerations, and dilemmas in receiving complaints; and provides specific instruction on intake, investigation, and verification of complaints. Included is background narrative material, teaching notes and ideas, and handouts.
V. The Problem-Solving Process: Resolution
This module is a sequel to the Problem-Solving Process: Investigation module. It discusses the ombudsman role in problem resolution. It covers stages 2 and 3 of the problem-solving process – analyzing and using information gathered during investigation to formulate a strategy. It presents primary approaches to resolving problems, and responsibilities for follow-up.
Scripted Role Plays Depicting Ombudsmen in Typical Situations (June 1995) MO LTCOP
This collection of skits were developed in a joint effort by the State Ombudsman Program staff and Regional Ombudsman Program staff in Missouri. The skits were used at the state-wide Ombudsman volunteer training conference in April 1995.ok
Abuse and Neglect
- Voices Speak Out Against Retaliation
Prompted by a resident question at the VOICES Forum in 2005, Connecticut’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) initiated a statewide work group and also commissioned the University of Connecticut Health Center to study fear of retaliation in skilled nursing facilities. The LTCOP designed the Voices Speak Out Against Retaliation training video to acknowledge that Fear of Retaliation is a reality for individuals living in skill nursing facilities.
- The Prevention and Detection of Sexual Assault of Nursing Home Residents
Developed by the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass and the Bluegrass Rape Crises Center. This manual and training resource is intended for use by ombudsmen in collaboration with local rape crises programs.
- My Body, My Rights
This brochure is a companion piece that can be used by ombudsmen and rape crises programs.
Assisted Living/ Board and Care/ Personal Care Homes
- Adult Family Home Specialty Training - developed by the Washington State LTCOP
- Translating NH Ombudsman Skills to Assisted Living and Teaching Guide (NORC) - Designed to enable ombudsmen to become more effective advocates for residents in assited living facilities.
- Uses of Mediation in Assisted Living and Some Advice Thrown In - (NASUA for NORC) This paper outlines a way for ombudsmen to explore and appreciate the major risk factors for disputes with relation to assisted living, and shows how mediation fits into the picture. Includes strategies for identifying and untangling underlying problems, opening a dialogue, and negotiation “gain-gain” solutions are examined via role play and group discussion.
- PPT Training for Ombudsman on Assisted Living - developed by the Nebraska LTCOP
- Hydration Training - Texas LTCOP - Includes a PowerPoint Presentation, fact sheets and other handouts to train and provide resources for ombudsmen and direct-care staff.
- Restraint-Free Care in California - Training Guide and PowerPoint Presentations (Facts and Strategies: Restraint Free Care is the Standard and Promoting Quality: Opportunities for Advocates to Make a Difference (developed by Consumer Voice)
- Miscommunication Training - (Missouri LTCOP for Regional Volunteer Ombudmen): Participant Training Manual; Participant Training Packet; Evaluation; PowerPoint
- Handling Conflict - Pickle Preparation - (MO LTCOP for Regional Volunteer Ombudmen): Participant Training Manual; Participant Training Packet; Evaluation; PowerPoint
- Pioneer Network Conference Intensive: LTCOP Innovative Practices: Incorporating Person-Centered Care in Ombudsman Training, Complaint Investigation and Advocacy (September 2012)
- Culture Change Inservice (NORC)
- Diversity Awareness Training - (MO LTCOP for Regional Volunteer Ombudsmen): Participant Training Manual; Participant Training Packet; Evaluation; PowerPoint
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: History, Role and Responsibilities (October 2012)
This presentation provides a general overview of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) highlighting the history, role and responsibilities of the program. Every state has a LTCOP, but each state operates their program differently. Therefore, this presentation will only address the program responsibilities required by federal law so the information is applicable in every state. At the conclusion of this presentation you should have an understanding about what the LTCOP does, who Long-Term Care Ombudsmen (LTCO) represent and how to work with the LTCO.
- Mental Health Ombudsman Training Manual (Developed by Dr. Susan Wehry for the NY LTCOP in 2004):
- Module One: Who’s Who
- Module Two: Self-Advocacy and Recovery
- Module Three: Challenging Behaviors
- Module Four: Medications
- Module Five: Substance Abuse and Common Mental Health Disorders
- Mental Health Issues in Nursing Homes: I’m Glad You Asked
- Help for the Ombudsman: Assisting the Adult Home Resident
Ombudsmen in Home Care
- Home Care Currciulum for Ohio Ombudsmen
The training curriculum for Ohio LTCOP includes a section on advocacy in home care. Ohio is one of the few states where ombudsmen have the authority to advocate for individuals receiving care. The curriculum on home care advocacy along with other types of long-term care advocacy.
Resident/Family Council Development
- Residents' Rights Inservice
- Considerations Regarding the Needs of Long-Term Care Residents for Intimate Relationships and Sexual Activity – Carol Scott, Kansas City, MO: Center for Practical Bioethics.2007
- Sexuality and Intimacy in LTC Facilities
Developed by Julie Button and Amy Panosh of the WI Board on Aging and LTC Ombudsman Program. Note that the consent piece of the presentation pertains only to WI case law. It is important that other states are aware of this and may need to do research on their consent laws in their state.
- Guidelines for Resident Rights-Problem Solving Presentation (for up to 20 people) - A Tutorial for Ombudsmen
- Guidelines for Large Group (30-150 staff) Resident Rights Presentation - A Tutorial for Ombudsmen
*Contact NORC for copies of the above manuals and/or Word Document versions
Notes from February 9, 2011, Conference Call: Dialogue Between Ombudsmen and the Federal Trade
The call featured Becky Kurtz, Director, Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, David Spiegel, Federal Trade Commission, and Michelle Chua, Federal Trade Commission. Its purpose was to start a conversation regarding potential issues in long-term care that may be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to discuss the scope of the Federal Trade Act and give Ombudsmen an opportunity to share concerns from their states. The FTC has jurisdiction of service practices, pricing and potentially resident discharges that under the Federal Trade Act are deemed “unfair practices.” The FTC is specifically interested in issues involving private pay residents residing in facilities other than nursing homes that do not receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.
The SLTCOP created a “New Senior Center Director” pamphlet with advice on how to establish good working relationships with seniors, boards, community stakeholders and grantor agencies. (2011)
Illinois recently retooled its two-day Level One certification training. The next step is to make Level One an on-line training. (2011)
For the past three years the SLTCO has facilitated an Ombudsmanager Update Training as a mechanism to provide technical assistance to the local ombudsmen who enter data. (2011)
The NYS Office for the Aging and the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman partnered with the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) to develop materials, including a 15-minute video and interactive toolkit for local ombudsmen to use with facility staff who work with residents who have visual impairments. (2011)