The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists

Mentoring Guidelines

Mentoring Overview and Guidelines

What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a possible CPD activity under the Peer and Professional Interaction section. However, mentoring relationships involve more than just a chat over a cup of coffee. Before entering into a mentoring relationship, it is important to have an understanding of the expectations and outcomes.

Mentoring is a relationship where an experienced person guides another’s development by sharing, supporting, and planning. It exists outside of the usual performance reporting lines: mentors typically are not direct supervisors or managers of the mentee. The typical training associated with on-boarding a new staff memeber does not qualify as mentoring.

Mentoring is not normally part of your job, it is a volunteering activity. If you are part of a formal mentoring program at your place of employment then that may qualify, but you will need to submit your company's guidelines.

Why get involved?
Benefits for mentees:

  • increased support and professional inclusion

  • great professional networking opportunity

  • professional guidance towards achieving long-term career goals

  • opportunity to discuss issues/soft skills with a non-supervising engineering or applied science technologist or technician

  • qualifies as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity under the peer and professional interaction category

Benefits for mentors:

  • chance to foster the next generation of technologists and technicians

  • occasion for reflection, to develop new skills and be further energized in their work

  • opportunity to share a wealth of experience 

  • qualifies as a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity under the peer and professional interaction category

What is the goal of the mentoring relationship?
Setting goals is critical to the success of the mentoring partnership. Goals give the partnership a distinct purpose and help organize and articulate expectations. Well-defined goals help determine the work done together, maintain the focus of the relationship, and once accomplished, signal the achievement of what was set out.  

How much time is involved?
Mentoring is a partnership and requires dedicated time (a minimum of 3 hours or 3 meetings over a 6-month period, as additional time is required to prepare for mentoring session). A key aspect of establishing a mentor relationship is defining expectations about contact time. Discuss how long the relationship will last and how closure will be determined.

Regular, ongoing contact is one of the most important building blocks for successful mentoring. Agree to meet on a regular and ongoing basis and avoid cancelling appointments. Mentoring can be face-to-face or through another means, such as Skype.

What are the responsibilities of a mentor and a mentee?
The primary purpose of the mentoring relationship is to develop the mentee. Therefore, the mentee must be pro-active and help create an agenda and a relationship that reflects the types of goals they would like to achieve. Mentors are offering their valuable time and it is the mentee's responsibility to make the most of that time. Creating an agenda will define the purpose of meetings, outline goals and objectives, keep everyone on track, clarify time and location and organize priorities. Some things to keep in mind:

  • The mentor is responsible for finding time to meet with their mentee. 

  • The mentee is responsible for scheduling the meetings and preparing ahead of time.

  • The mentor provides advice and feedback to help the mentee meet their goal.  

  • The mentee should prepare for each meeting with an agenda and questions for the mentor. 

  • Both the mentor and mentee have a mutual commitment to maintain confidentiality and build the relationship in order to meet the mentee’s goals.

What supporting documentation is required?
A sample template for tracking mentoring meetings is available and the record must contain the name and signature of the mentor and the mentee as well as time spent and dates of meetings and topics discussed. Mentoring done through a non-profit or charitable organization can be supported by an official letter from the organization confirming the hours mentored for their organization. If you are selected for an audit, you will be required to produce supporting documentation, and the mentor or the mentee will be contacted to verify.

How can I get involved in mentoring? 
We strongly advise that you use a mentoring agency. Mentoring can be rewarding for both parties but can also be problematic. Some examples of mentoring organizations are listed below.

MentorCity is an on-line mentoring matching program that connects you to meaningful mentoring relationships. The premise is that throughout your life and career, there are times when you can benefit from the advice, guidance and support of a mentor. There are also times when you can share your expertise and experiences to guide mentees in the right direction.

Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) offers mentoring partnerships that bring recent skilled immigrants and established professionals together in occupation-specific mentoring relationships.

COSTI is involved in connecting skilled immigrants and established professionals in occupation-specific mentoring relationships through the Mentoring Partnership. Newcomers entering this program have the education, experience, and language skills to succeed in the labour market. 

Download a copy of the Mentoring Overview and Guidelines Including the Sample Mentoring Template.
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