(A) The professional development curriculum for all candidates seeking certification as ombudsman associates shall include instruction in the following areas:
(1) An introduction to the office, including a discussion of the scope of work of the office;
(2) An overview of the long-term care system, including a discussion of:
(a) The types of long-term care providers, their organization and operations;
(b) Federal and state regulations applicable to long-term care providers, with an emphasis on consumer rights;
(c) Long-term care consumer profiles and methods of payment for long-term care services;
(d) The aging process and attitudes on aging; and,
(e) The aging network and the relationship between the aging network, the office, and various regulatory agencies.
(3) Ombudsman skills, including:
(a) Interpersonal, communication, observation, and interviewing;
(b) Building working relationships with providers; and,
(c) Complaint handling.
(4) An overview of complaint resolution skills, with an emphasis on advocacy, negotiating, empowering consumers, and follow-up activities;
(5) Complaint documentation;
(6) Program policies and procedures, including:
(b) Access to providers and consumers;
(d) Ethics; and,
(e) Complaint investigation and resolution.
(7) Any additional topic deemed appropriate by the SLTCO.
(1) The professional development content for the initial forty clock hours of professional development required of all candidates for certification as ombudsman specialist or ombudsman program director shall include the content of the professional development required under paragraph (A) of this rule and additional professional development in the following areas:
(a) A more in-depth review of the content areas covered for candidates for certification as ombudsman associates, including written exercises, case studies, role plays, research exercises, and analysis of systemic issues;
(b) Complaint-handling protocol, as outlined in rule 173-14-16 of the Administrative Code;
(c) Investigation and resolution skills;
(d) Ombudsman ethics and alternative decision-making;
(e) The provision of program management, case consultation, and an overview of supervision;
(f) Advocacy skills; and,
(g) Any additional topic deemed appropriate by the SLTCO.
(2) The additional professional development required under paragraph (A)(3) of rule 173-14-04 of the Administrative Code shall cover the professional development content required by paragraph (C)(1) of this rule and the professional development shall introduce new topics including, but not limited to:
(a) How to represent a client in a hearing, including transfer or discharge hearings conducted by the departments of health or job and family services, public benefit hearings conducted by the department of job and family services, and medicare part A benefit hearings conducted by the social security administration;
(b) How to supervise;
(c) How to handle complaints involving persons with mental retardation, developmental disabilities and mental illness;
(d) How to recruit and supervise volunteers;
(e) Actions regarding public disclosure, including appropriateness, confidentiality of certain information, and how to work with the media; and,
(f) Any additional topic deemed appropriate by the SLTCO.
(C) In addition to the professional development required by paragraph (B) of this rule, the professional development content for all candidates seeking certification as an ombudsman program director shall include professional development in the following areas:
(1) Management skills;
(2) Administering the program;
(3) Prioritization of regional program services and activities;
(4) Development of the ombudsman plan;
(5) Fund raising;
(6) Budget development;
(7) Policy development;
(8) Use of ombudsman data as a management tool; and,
(9) Any additional topic deemed appropriate by the SLTCO.
(D) The regional program may make application to the SLTCO to substitute curricula for paragraph (A) of this rule. The application must demonstrate that substituted curricula adequately prepares candidates for successful completion of the standardized certification examination. The decision of the SLTCO shall be final.