The principles underpinning the mentoring process

The principles underpinning mentoring partnerships are:

  • mentoring is a constructive, developmental form of support and should be of mutual benefit to both parties
  • the mentoring process must reflect and promote a commitment to equality of opportunity
  • the mentor should not be the mentee’s line manager
  • reflection on practice is encouraged and outcomes/benefits are evaluated
  • the meetings are confidential, and information is only shared with others by the mentee
  • mentors will not normally have more than two mentees at anyone time

In practice this means that:

  • The scheme must be supported by adequate preparation, training, sharing of good practice and ongoing reviews of how the scheme is operating
  • The mentoring process needs to be clearly understood by both parties i.e. the definition of mentoring, the purpose of mentoring meetings, the role of the mentor and of the mentee
  • The mentor and mentee must create a time frame for both the frequency of meetings and for the duration of the relationship
  • There should be a clear understanding of and agreement on the level of confidentiality required within the mentoring relationship
  • The purpose and use of any documentation used to support the mentoring process should be clearly understood i.e. documentation used to plan meetings, to discuss outcomes, record learning points/reflections on practice is confidential between mentor and mentee, and may, should the individual wish, form part of the individual’s own personal development portfolio
  • At the end of the partnership both mentor and mentee should review what they have each learned from the partnership, what has been achieved in terms of both expected and unexpected outcomes, what future mentoring may be needed and how this could be best met by other people.