A mentor is either a practicing Professional Agrologist (PAg), Technical Agrologist (TAg), or a retired Registrant (PAg [Ret]) or (TAg [Ret]), who provides assistance and guidance to an articling mentee during their articling term.
Both parties must complete a mentoring agreement within two (2) months after the articling Registrant has been notified of acceptance into BCIA. Articling Program Registrants who have not submitted their signed mentoring agreement in the two months after their notice of acceptance into BCIA will have their articling term held in abeyance (put on hold) until the mentoring agreement is received. This, in effect, will extend the articling term to however long the signed mentoring agreement is outstanding.
The primary role of the mentor is to guide the mentee through the non-technical aspects of professionalism such as:
- Introduction to BCIA at both the provincial and the branch levels, a review of governance, and what the purpose and functions are of BCIA;
- Setting an example as a registered professional;
- Introduce the new Registrant to the mentor's professional network;
- Review and clarify the material and subject matter in the Professional Governance Act, Bylaws, the Schedule Agrologists Regulation, and the Code of Ethics - Schedule A;
- Review and clarify the Duty to Report;
- Assist the articling Registrant in identifying and undertaking professional development activities that may prove useful to the registrant in their area(s) of practice;
- Discuss and review annual professional development (PD) reports to ensure required minimums are met;
- Provide articling checklist signatures corroborating engagement with the mentee; and
- Provide a letter that includes a final recommendation regarding progression to fully active professional status.
Mentorship can be provided by a TAg or a PAg; however, TAgs may only provide mentorship to ATAgs, and not to AAgs.
Some considerations when establishing a mentoring relationship:
- Usually, both the mentor and the mentee can be from the same Branch, but it is not a requirement;
- The required bi-annual meetings can be held in person or virtually. More frequent meetings are encouraged if possible;
- The mentee and the mentor do not need to have the same area of practice; priority should be placed on obtaining a mentor with whom the mentee feels comfortable, rather than focusing on the areas of practice;
- The articling Registrant's immediate supervisor can be a mentor if the articling Registrant wishes; however, there must be no ethical conflict between the articling Registrant's job description and professional ethics in the workplace;
- The success of the mentoring relationship is based on mutual trust between the two parties there should be an open atmosphere to discuss ideas, problems, deficiencies, goals and achievements.
Tips for Mentors:
- Establish regular contact with the mentee;
- Be open and polite, and direct but non-judgmental;
- Do not expect to have all the answers;
- Assist the mentee to learn to network;
- Respect confidentiality;
- Work closely with the mentee, good communications are crucial to success.
The Articling Program Guide for Mentors and Articling Coordinators, a companion document to the online Articling Journal, is an excellent resource for mentors and Articling Coordinators.