A mentor is a P.Ag. or P.Ag.(Retired) that provides assistance and guidance to the A.Ag during their articling period. The primary role of the mentor is to guide the Articling Agrologist through the nontechnical aspects of professionalism.
The mentor will encourage attendance at meetings and participation in branch activities or governance and generally provide support for the new member. They will set an example as a Professional. They will invite, introduce and welcome the new member to branch activities. The mentor will review and clarify the material and subject matter in the Agrologists Act, bylaws, code of ethics, code of practice and other relevant material. Both parties must complete a mentoring agreement once the A.Ag. has been accepted into membership.
In addition they will assist the A.Ag in identifying and undertaking professional development activities that may prove useful to the member in their area of practice. The mentor will provide verification signatures for those activities or events for which he/she has personal knowledge of the A.Ag attending and provide a final recommendation regarding elevation to P.Ag status for the member.
Some considerations when establishing a mentoring relationship:
- Usually both the mentor and the Articling Agrologist are members of the same branch but it isn’t a requirement.
- It is not essential that the Articling Agrologist and mentor have expertise in the same area of practice but for some it can be of a benefit to them
- The Articling Agrologist’s immediate supervisor can be a suitable mentor if: the Articling Agrologist prefers to have such arrangement; and there can be no ethical quarrel between the Articling Agrologist’s job description and the development of professional ethics at work
- The success of the mentoring relationship will be an outcome of the trust between the two parties. Trust will generate an openness to discuss ideas, problems, deficiencies, and achievements.
Tips for Mentors
- Establish regular contact with the Articling Agrologist (A.Ag)
- Be open and frank and avoid being judgmental
- Don’t expect to have all the answers
- Assist the A.Ag to network
- Respect confidentiality
- Keep working with the A.Ag until communication “happens”
BCIA has prepared a companion document for the mentors of new agrologists.
The Articling Agrologist Program Guide for Mentors and A.Ag Coordinators a companion document to the Articling Agrologist Journal is an excellent resource for Mentors and Articling Agrologist Coordinators.