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We are delighted to launch full registration of this year's OA conference 'Being effective in a time of change'.

We hope you will be able to join us at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham to discuss the key issues facing the sector.

The conference starts with a networking dinner on 19 June, and we have an exciting programme and slate of speakers lined up over 20-21 June (see below).

A copy of the programme is available to download below.

2023 Conference Programme
PDF 326.95 KB


Welcome and presentation of the Outstanding Contribution Award

Session on how the cost-of-living crisis has changed people’s priorities, with presentation from James Smith, Research Director at the Resolution Foundation.

A1 - Vicarious trauma

With people having less resilience and emotional reserves post-pandemic, Tony Dysart, PHSO’s Senior Lead Clinician, leads a session on how members can support staff.

FULLY BOOKED - A2 - Backlog busting

Session on how to deal with high volumes of casework, with presentations from James Dipple-Johnstone, Financial Ombudsman Service, and from the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, on increasing efficiency and agile working.

A3 - Access to justice

Exploration of the current challenges around access to justice issues with input from the UK Ministry of Justice and the Civil Justice Council.

A shared challenge for members is the recruitment and retention of staff. Bernie Davies, EDI specialist, leads a session on allyship and how we can best use our own influence to support under-represented groups.   

B1 - Peer Reviews

Session on how peer reviews can be used by members to drive improvements in their own service with Rebecca Hilsenrath, PHSO, and Andrea Keenoy, Housing Ombudsman.

B2 - RACE Equality Code

Session led by Karl George MBE and Nikki Sinclair, RSM UK, on how to improve race equality in the workplace.

FULLY BOOKED - B3 - Quality Assurance

What quality assurance regimes do members have in place? What has worked to improve quality? Dr Chris Gill, presents his recent benchmarking research, alongside presentations from the Legal Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Conversation with Dmytro Lubinets, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights  

Drinks reception in the Drawing Room with talk from Professor Carl Chinn on the history of the city

Dinner in Banqueting Suite

Auction to raise money for staff at the Ukrainian Commission for Human Rights

Sir Geoffrey Vos, the Master of the Rolls, and Daniel Hewitt, Investigations Correspondent ITV News, on driving system change and addressing injustice.

C1 - Embedding a Human Rights approach

Session on how members are embedding a human rights approach across their organisation and their casework, with presentations from the Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman, the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman & the Financial Ombudsman Service.

FULLY BOOKED - C2 - Ensuring impact

Session on how members are ensuring that their findings and decisions are driving change, with presentations from Mike McMahon, Adjudicator’s Office, and Nuala Ward, Ombudsman for Children’s Office.

C3 - Intelligent automation

Discussion on how intelligent automation can be used effectively to support efficient working whilst avoiding the risks and ethical issues, with a presentation from the National Ombudsman for the Netherlands.

Panel session on the challenge of raising awareness of ombudsman schemes, with Christian Weaver, author of ‘The Law in 60 Seconds’, Richard Harries, Institute for Community Studies, and Lindsey Poole, Advice Services Alliance.

This year we are holding our first ever Summer Seminar after the conference closes. 

All members are welcome to attend the seminar which will start with tea / coffee on arrival.

The seminar itself will explore how to better understand and reach out to under-served and under-represented communities and the creation of a community of best practice in the ombudsman sector.

Click here to reserve your place on the Summer Seminar.

Venue information

This year we are returning to a city centre location for our conference.  The Hyatt Regency Hotel is located in the heart of Birmingham city centre, just 12 minutes' walk from Birmingham New Street Station or 2 minutes' by Metro.  Birmingham Airport is also just 20 minutes away by train or 30 minutes by car.

The conference dinner on Tuesday 20 June will be held at the beautiful, Grade II listed Birmingham Council House.  Built around a central courtyard from which the Council Chamber, Banqueting Suite, Lord Mayor's Parlour and Committee Rooms lead, Birmingham Council House remains one of the nation's outstanding Victorian buildings.



A - Full Residential Conference Attendance: 2 days conference, 2 nights' accommodation, Networking dinner (Monday) and Conference dinner (Tuesday) £740 £810
B - Full Conference Attendance: 2 days conference, 1 night accommodation (Tuesday), Conference dinner (Tuesday) £620 £690
C - Half Conference Attendance: 1 day conference, 1 night accommodation, 1 dinner £560 £620
D - Two Day Dining Delegate: 2 days conference, Conference dinner (Tuesday) £470 £540
E - Two Day Delegate: 2 days conference £420 £490
F - Single Day Delegate: 1 day conference attendance (select which day on registration) £360 £420
G - Single Day Dining Delegate: 1 day, Conference dinner (Tuesday) £410 £470

* All prices shown are exclusive of VAT


In order to book your places, please click 'Register' and select your package and breakout session choices.  Invoices (or quotes where required) for those delegates who did not pre-book via the Early Bird Pre-Booking form before 24 March, will be issued separately following submission of the registration(s).

Please register each delegate attending.

* Don't forget you need to register separately to attend the summer seminar.