A mentor is either an active full status or a retired registrant, who provides assistance and guidance to an articling registrant during their articling period. Both parties must complete a mentoring agreement after the articling registrant has been notified of acceptance into BCIA. The primary role of the mentor is to guide the articling registrant 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, and 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 in select boxes indicating engagement with the articling registrant;
- Provide a letter that includes a final recommendation regarding elevation to full professional status.
Mentorship can be provided by a TAg or a PAg; however TAgs may only provide mentorship to ATAgs, but NOT to AAgs.
Some considerations when establishing a mentoring relationship:
- Usually, both the mentor and the articling registrant are from the same branch but it is not a requirement;
- The required bi-annual meetings can be in-person OR virtually. More frequent meetings are encouraged if possible;
- The articling registrant and mentor don't have to have expertise in the same area of practice; however for some, it can be beneficial; priority should be placed on obtaining a mentor with whom the articling registrant feels comfortable, rather than focusing on the area(s) of practice;
- The articling registrant's immediate supervisor can be a suitable mentor if the articling registrant prefers to have such arrangement, and 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, as this generates an openness to discuss ideas, problems, deficiencies, goals, and achievements.
Tips for Mentors:
- Establish regular contact with the articling registrant;
- Be open and frank and avoid being judgmental;
- Don’t expect to have all the answers;
- Assist the articling registrant to network;
- Respect confidentiality;
- Keep working with the articling registrant until good communication is achieved.
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.