Mentoring is - and has been for centuries - the foundation of vocational training and apprenticeships, yet this standard is the first formal recognition of this role. Nowadays, mentoring takes place in all parts of the Education and Training Sector (ETS) and staff-development contexts. LMs support learners of all ages, and all levels, to develop within a new work role. These learners may be, for example, apprentices, trainees or new recruits (ranging from young entrants, to new CEOs) in the workplace, or in any vocational learning environment.
LMs will have sector-specific experience and qualifications, as determined by their employer or professional body, which they use to guide and advise those who are less experienced and new to a work role. The LM is therefore a ‘dual professional’ having both up-to-date knowledge and skills in a specialist vocational or subject area, together with the generic skills necessary to support learners (as potentially a first step towards a secondary role as an education and training professional).
LMs therefore support the development of learners’ knowledge, skills and behaviours, throughout their programme, particularly in applying theoretical learning in practical work environments (and usually on a one-to-one, or small group, basis). They give practical, technical and/or pastoral support and guidance.
LMs collaborate closely with colleagues, other ETS professional, employers and/or human resource colleagues to meet learners’ needs and achieve their potential.
The LM apprenticeship requires development of the following professional behaviours, knowledge and skills:
Within the sector, ‘mentoring’ is understood to be different to ‘coaching’; being a relatively basic learning-support role, involving advice and guidance delivered by a more experienced person. (See the Level 4 Assessor-Coach Standard for further clarification about these two different roles.)
Professional behaviours. The Learning Mentor will:
- Promote an ethos of motivation, aspiration and a passion for learning
- Operate at all times to ethical and legal standards and within professional boundaries
- Value equality and diversity and work with others to improve equality of opportunity and inclusion
- Be resilient and adaptable when dealing with challenge and change, maintaining focus and self-control
- Demonstrate, encourage and expect mutual respect in all professional contexts
The Learning Mentor will be able to:
The Learning Mentor will understand:
Provide mentoring support
Procedures for effective mentoring
S1 advise, guide and supervise learners to acquire the most benefit from their learning programme
K1 effective practice in providing accurate and relevant vocational/pastoral advice and guidance
S2 communicate and collaborate effectively and use effective questioning, listening and assertiveness skills
K2 effective questioning, active-listening and assertiveness techniques
S3 work with education providers and workplace colleagues to plan and implement structured and meaningful learning and work experience
K3 learning programme requirements and the need to plan contextualised learning in authentic or realistic work settings with the learner support team
S4 liaise with assessors, coaches and/or teachers to facilitate formative and summative assessment of learners’ skills and knowledge
K4 the roles of assessors, coaches or teachers in providing practical help with assessment processes and requirements
S5 identify and refer issues relevant to learners’ progress and well-being, to education-providers and/or workplace colleagues
K5 who has a legitimate need to be kept informed of issues impacting on the learner’s well-being and progress
S6 collaborate with the wider education support team to review learners’ progress and to provide evidence of progress and achievement
K6 the mentor’s role in supporting the learner’s development and how to provide valid evidence of progress and achievement
S7 maintain appropriate records for the learning programme, complying with quality, confidentiality and data protection requirementsK7 organisational and legal requirements for recording, storing and sharing information on learners’ progress, needs and welfareS8 liaise with relevant colleagues to support the implementation of learners’ action plansK8 the roles of workplace and education provider colleagues who contribute to learners fulfilling their action plansS9 be vigilant in safeguarding learners and others in contact with them
K9 how learners may become physically or psychologically at risk, and channels for reporting concerns
S10 maintain the currency of their vocational skillsK10 opportunities for continuing professional development
S11 comply with internal and external quality assurance requirements
K11 quality assurance requirements relating to the mentoring environment.
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