Roles and Responsibilities
The aim of mentoring within ECDP is to provide a structured support mechanism to guide staff towards achieving their career-path aims and objectives. Although mentoring focuses primarily on partnership between the mentee and mentor, it is also important to understand the role of the line manager within mentoring. Mentees should have a sense of ownership and mentors should also benefit from the partnership.
Role of the Mentee
The relationship is mentee driven, but the mentee should work in partnership with the mentor to gain advice and support on their career development. It is important that the mentee has a willingness to engage in career development opportunities, is open and honest in their discussions with their mentor with a focus on what they would like to achieve from mentoring.
- The mentee should agree with their mentor on any timescales (e.g. where feedback is required) to allow the mentor to plan their time effectively and not feel overburdened by mentee requests
- Mentees have a responsibility to identify and initiate additional learning opportunities as appropriate
- The mentee works directly with their line manager in achieving agreed performance objectives, ensuring that their workload is appropriate and agreed performance objectives are met and regular dialogue occurs
- Mentees take responsibility to drive forward their professional development plan which includes setting the direction for mentoring discussions through to planning mentoring logistics such as setting meeting dates/times
Role of the Mentor
Typically mentors have close proximity to the mentee, and in some situations work closely together on research activity. However, they do not have any line management responsibilities for the mentee.
- The mentor’s primary focus is on the professional development of their mentee; as the mentor/mentee discussions take place outside the line management relationship, they should be handled in confidence to enable the appropriate level of trust and support
- Mentors stand outside of the line management and PDR process, and are not responsible for the performance of staff or for assessing performance
- The mentor will assist with a range of tasks and developmental activities as appropriate to the development needs of the mentee
- Mentors should make suggestions, recommendations or connections which support an ECDP participant in progressing through the programme, which may form part of development discussions between line managers and mentees
- The mentor is accountable to the Head of School/Director of Research Institute for their performance as a mentor. Their contribution to mentoring early career staff can be used as evidence of collegiality, leadership and management in the assessment of their own overall performance
Role of the Line Manager
Line managers have overall accountability for the day to day line management of the mentee by providing them with feedback, support and guidance. They manage the annual performance assessment process both from a performance rating perspective and development planning aspect. They sign off objectives and are responsible for ensuring that the objectives set are driven to achieve the promotional criteria as relevant to the stage of programme.
- The line manager will continue to take the lead in managing the mentee on a daily basis along with all related line management responsibilities such as effective objective setting, monitoring performance, providing constructive feedback and managing performance along with supporting early career development planning
- The line manager will support the mentee in reviewing progress in the achievement of agreed targets/milestones, performance objectives and their professional development plan on a regular basis
- The line manager should remain open to any ideas from the mentor that will assist in the continued development of the mentee, but should not ask for any direct feedback on performance