Often mentors are selected based on a recommendation from someone else or provided by a company, but how do you know that this mentor is the right mentor for you?

As an industry, the only regulation of mentoring standards is done through the International Regulator of Coaches and Mentors CIC (IRCM).  Therefore, the questions you should be asking about your mentor are, at minimum, the following:

Is the mentor you are selecting to work with training?

It is easy for the mentor to say ‘yes’ that they are, but what is the quality of training?

The IRCM recommends that mentor training is verified by an independent body, and there are two types of independent bodies that can undertake this verification:

    • IRCM REGISTERED or ACCREDITED Professional Bodies, who are capable of providing independent verification of each private, commercial, training organisation; and in turn, each course/workshop that the organisation provides.
    • IRCM REGISTERED Formal Education Bodies. Unlike private, commercial, training organisations; formal education bodies are required to meet Country-based Education Standards and by registering with the IRCM, they also agree to abide by and incorporate the IRCM’s Standards, Ethics, and Core Competencies in each course/workshop.
    • The question to ask in your interview of the mentor include:
      • How did they select the course?
      • What due-diligence did they do?
      • Is the course independently verified through an IRCM verification process?
      • If the answer is ‘no’, what is the one reason that you would select to work with a mentor who is not qualified through the right course?

Is the mentor you are selecting to work with competent?

    • Competence is determined by mentors independent but external verification.
    • This is simply provided by an ACCREDITATION/CREDENTIAL process provided by an IRCM REGISTERED or ACCREDITED Professional Body.
    • If the answer is that the mentor is not accredited/credentialed by an IRCM Registered/Accredited Professional Body, has the coach independently REGISTERED on the IRCM’s Individual Suppliers Register?
      • If the answer is ‘no’, what is the one reason that you would select to work with a coach who is not competent?
      • If the answer is ‘yes’, this coach has agreed to abide by the IRCM’s Standards, Ethics, and Core Competencies.
    • Unlike coaching, mentors also provide advice and guidance on a specific topic. Their knowledge of this topic is gained through their own industry-standard training, industry experience, and day-to-day knowledge gained through working in the specific industry.
      • Therefore, knowing how they have gained their knowledge and experience, such that they are able to ensure that they can provide you with advice and guidance is also important.
      • If this mentor does not have the personally gained experience in the field you need, what is the one reason you would work with this mentor?

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