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What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a professional working and learning relationship where a trained individual (mentor) is providing skilled help to another, the mentee. It is an opportunity for the mentor to help another in a constructive way with their personal, professional and career development.

How is it done?

The mentor provides time for a regular confidential and nonjudgmental dialogue with the mentee, at a suitable private location, within normal working hours. Sessions are arranged in advance and would normally last 1-2 hours. Both parties would expect to start and finish in a timely manner.

Is it Confidential?

Mentoring is a voluntary arrangement and either party may withdraw from the arrangement at any time without giving a reason. No information is shared and the mentor keeps no records unless the mentee discloses information which under GMC guidance requires further action. Mentoring provided in this way does not form part of systems of assessment or performance review.

Some issues may arise which require input from other professional groups and the mentor would advise if this was the case.

The mentee may then be directed towards other sources of help, like Counselling services and Occupational Health.

Who owns it?

The mentee would be expected to be an active participant in sessions and own the decisions and outcomes. A mentoring arrangement is voluntary and cannot be imposed.

Is there training for mentors?

There are several different models for mentoring. One of the better known ones, the Egan method, is supported by training.


1. Supporting doctors and dentists at work- an enquiry into mentoring. S.C.O.P.M.E. 1998
2. The Skilled Helper. Gerard Egan. 2002. Brooks/ Cole. USA.
3. Coaching and Mentoring at work-Developing Effective Practice. Mary Connor, Julia Pokora.2009.

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