A mentor is either a practicing Professional Agrologist (PAg), Technical Agrologist (TAg), or a retired Registrant (PAg [Ret]) or (TAg [Ret]), of whom provides assistance and guidance to an articling Registrant during their articling term.
The mentoring agreement must be submitted within two (2) months after the articling Registrant has been notified of acceptance into BCIA or risk having 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:
- Introduce to BCIA at both the provincial and the branch levels, a review of governance, and what the purpose and functions are of BCIA
- Set an example as a registered professional
- Introduce the new Registrant to professional networks
- Review the Professional Governance Act, the Schedule "Agrologists Regulation", BCIA's Bylaws, the Code of Ethics, the Duty to Report, and any other relevant legislation, guidelines, or policies
- 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 ensuring required minimums are met
- Provide verification signatures in select areas within the articling checklist indicating engagement between parties
- 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
- 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 with
- Articling Registrant's immediate supervisor can be a mentor if they wish; however, there must be no ethical conflict between the articling Registrant's job description and professional ethics in the workplace
- 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 in networking
- 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.