A mentor is a full member or a retired full member that provides assistance and guidance to the articling member during their articling period. The primary role of the mentor is to guide the articling member 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 articling member has been accepted into membership.
In addition they will assist the articling member 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 articling member attending and provide a final recommendation regarding elevation to full status for the member.
Some considerations when establishing a mentoring relationship:
- Usually both the mentor and the articling member are members of the same branch but it isn’t a requirement.
- It is not essential that the articling member and mentor have expertise in the same area of practice but for some it can be of a benefit to them
- The articling member's immediate supervisor can be a suitable mentor if: the articling member prefers to have such arrangement; and there can be no ethical quarrel between the articling member'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 member
- Be open and frank and avoid being judgmental
- Don’t expect to have all the answers
- Assist the articling member to network
- Respect confidentiality
- Keep working with the articling member until communication “happens”
BCIA has prepared a companion document for the mentors of new members.
The Articling Program Guide for Mentors and Articling Coordinators a companion document to the Articling Journal is an excellent resource for Mentors and Articling Coordinators.