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The HESPA Mentoring scheme is open to all HESPA members and aims to pair mentors with mentees to develop specific areas of expertise related to strategy and planning. A key objective of the scheme is to support members and help them to develop and achieve specific goals, which they set for themselves. In the majority of matches, it is envisaged that mentors and mentees will be from different institutions. This also helps to encourage cross-sector networking and engagement, another key objective of the scheme.
Generally mentors and mentees meet approximately once a month in a neutral, private space, either face-to-face or virtually.
Career development – supporting members in setting and meeting their career goals by building confidence and developing or improving new capabilities.
Succession planning – helping to develop emerging leaders from our membership through shared experience and skills development.
Raising environmental awareness – enabling the sharing of valuable information about the sector and the expectations of those working in strategy and planning roles within it.
Connecting people – providing a platform via which our community of members can build stronger networks and support one another.
Building critical friendships – promoting a healthy culture of open and constructive feedback to drive successful working practices for the benefit of the sector.
Anyone can be a mentor if they have skills to pass on, with the only requirements being to have the time and commitment to participate. Mentees can be any HESPA member who would find it useful to have a neutral mentor who can help them achieve specific objectives that they set for themselves. You can also sign up as both a mentor and a mentee, offering support and guidance on areas of expertise that you possess, and seeking the same from others on areas you wish to develop.
Mentoring is a commitment in terms of time and energy and we therefore ask that you think carefully, before signing up, about whether this fits in with your existing commitments.
The Scheme opens for new registrations in late summer each academic year. The 2023 deadline for new registrations was noon on the 29th September.
Please email Lisa on email@example.com if ...
The scheme is centrally managed and administered by HESPA with support from a software platform called SUMAC to match mentors and mentees.
We will make every effort to match mentors and mentees, but please be aware that - for a number of reasons - it is not always possible to find matches and we apologise if we are not able to establish a partnership for you immediately or in the first few months.
If you decide that you would like to sign up please proceed to Step 2.
in 2023 both mentors and mentees signed up by completing a sign up form on our SUMAC system. Mentees were asked to sign up before noon on the 29th September 2023.
However as we received more registrations for mentees than for mentors we would still love to hear from potential mentors - please email Lisa on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
After the deadline, the SUMAC system closed and used an algorithm to match partners, where possible.
The SUMAC system uses the information shared by the mentor and mentee to try to find matches.
If a match is made, the mentee is contacted with details about the potential match and can either accept or decline (the mentor does not know about this).
An introduction email is sent from the system to both the mentor and mentee informing them that a match has been made.
The mentor will not be informed that a match was made and then declined.
The mentor will be re-matched with a mentee from the waiting list.
The system will try to match the mentee with a different mentor. If this process is successful the mentee will be notified as above. Please note, however, that as we generally receive more registrations from mentees than mentors, we may not always be able to offer a second match.
We will make every effort to match mentors and mentees, but please be aware that for a number of reasons it is not always possible to find matches and we apologise if we are not able to establish a partnership for you this year.
It is the mentee's responsibility to arrange the meetings with their mentor.
The Mentoring Plan resource can be used to help support mentors and mentees plan their meetings. Feedback from previous mentoring partnerships highlights that establishing some goals, a meeting schedule and even an 'exit plan' are really important.
We suggest that mentors and mentees meet approximately once a month in a neutral, private space, either face-to-face or virtually.
Mentoring relationships are not intended to be open-ended, but they are individual and some partnerships may last longer than others. If you set some key objectives when you first meet, you should be working towards them over the course of the scheme. We anticipate that most relationships will run for about 12 months. Some partners may decide to continue their relationship beyond this time if it is mutually desired. Alternatively, some pairings may wish to terminate their relationship sooner if both parties have achieved their objectives from the scheme or if circumstances change.
We encourage participants not to feel awkward or nervous about ending a partnership. This is completely normal and there are many reasons why a partnership might be coming to an end. Some examples include:
Whatever the reason, please ensure you inform HESPA when your relationship is ending. This is very important for a number of reasons, not least so that we can put available mentors back into the system for other mentees.
This is a handy guide for all users of the scheme, whether mentor, mentee, or both. It provides information about what mentoring is and isn’t, why HESPA is running a scheme, objectives of the scheme, what to expect, guidance for mentors and mentees, common dilemmas, complaints procedures, key scheme documents, contacts and FAQs.
This document states how mentors and mentees should behave in relation to certain things. It contains information and guidance on agendas, roles, confidentiality, privacy, relevance, responsibilities, boundaries, protocols, openness, respect, time and finish.
The purpose of this document, which is signed by users of the scheme when a match is made, is to protect both the mentor and mentee from a breach in confidentiality during the mentoring process.
You may choose to use this resource to help establish a plan for your meetings. This does not need to be shared with HESPA but is offered as a supporting resource to help you think about and develop your mentoring relationship.
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