Mentoring is a one to one relationship between members the aim of which is for a mentor to help a mentee to develop specific skills or knowledge in the competency framework. Agreeing which skills or knowledge they will focus on is part of the contracting agreement between the mentor and mentee and typically, the mentee will choose a mentor who has at least level 4 (Can supervise others in the use of the approach) or level 5 (Can train others in the use of the approach) skill levels in that particular competency in their portfolio.
Contracting should be in writing and include:
- The names of mentor and mentee
- The competency(ies) the mentoring agreement is covering
- The current and target skill levels in that competency for each party (so before and after the agreement)
- How the relationship will work – logistics, frequency of meetings etc.
- The duration of agreement
- The context in which the work will be done – whether that’s case based or in the mentee’s own organisation, or in a client organisation
- How both parties will assess the effectiveness of the learning
Benefits for mentees are improved levels of skill in competencies of their choice and an ability to use a new approach with the reassurance of a safety net. Benefits for the mentor are the confirmation of their skill level which they can evidence in their portfolio and the possibility to move in the skills ladder from level 4 to level 5 in that area of competency. Benefits for both are that both sides of the relationship count towards the requirement to invest in CPD as required for professional grading.