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AGCAS Mentoring Scheme

Mentoring is an informal and supportive relationship, outside of any formal hierarchy, whereby an experienced person helps a colleague learn to carry out their job, or a particular task or complete an assignment, by providing guidance, counselling, support and advice.

Mentoring in the AGCAS context started as an optional form of support for registrants on the Certificate and Diploma qualification courses that we run in conjunction with The University of Warwick. This still accounts for the largest proportion of mentoring relationships. However, we are happy to extend this and will do our best to help establish mentoring relationships for new Heads of Service.

Who are the mentors?

Mentors are experienced members of AGCAS who have volunteered for the role. Generally, they will have first hand experience of the role or task for which they are mentors, thus most qualification module mentors have actually completed that module. Mentors have an interest in professional development, some also being AGCAS trainers. Most will have attended a Mentoring and Coaching training day. In the majority of cases, the mentor and the mentee are from different careers services. It is not recommended that the mentor should have any line management responsibility for the mentee.

How to find a mentor?

There are several ways in which mentoring relationships are set up within AGCAS. These include:

•  Informally - the mentee approaches a person with whom they feel comfortable and who they feel will have the experience to help them, and asks them to be their mentor. This probably accounts for about 40% of the mentoring relationships established and can be an extremely effective method.

•  Formally - the AGCAS Training, Events and Publications Manager maintains lists of those who have attended Mentoring and Coaching training days, plus experienced members who are willing to take on this role, and will try to locate a suitable mentor for a new HOS when requested. Generally, two or three names will be supplied and it is then up to the mentee to make initial contact and choose a mentor appropriate to their needs.

•  Recommended - some qualification modules strongly recommend that you do have a mentor. In addition, if you are struggling with a particular qualification assignment, the Warwick tutor or the AGCAS Training, Events and Publications Manager may recommend that you work with a mentor. We do have mentors with particular expertise in each qualification module and, in these circumstances, we will allocate you a suitable mentor.

How do I end a mentoring relationship?

Most mentoring relationships have a natural ending when the task or goal is accomplished by the mentee. Occasionally, however, a mentoring relationship breaks down because the individuals do not get on with each other or because trust and respect is not successfully established. In this circumstance either party is welcome to contact the AGCAS Training, Events and Publications Manager who will arrange for the termination of the relationship, hopefully without offence to either party. Sometimes a mentor needs to terminate a relationship possibly due to a change in circumstance, role or commitment. Again, the AGCAS Training, Events and Publications Manager will locate a replacement mentor.

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