Being a Mentor
All Candidate members seeking eligibility for entry into Full Membership as Registered Professional Planners are required to participate in a mentorship program for a minimum of one year, to support the responsible professional planning experience (sponsorship) requirement. The one year of mentorship can begin immediately upon admission as Candidate member, and can be undertaken concurrently with the responsible professional planning experience requirement. Please note that under no circumstances can mentorship be backlogged – it only begins once a Candidate member has been confirmed as such by CIP and his/her Affiliate.
The role of the Mentor is to provide key collegial advice, assistance, and guidance to a Candidate member as they undertake their practical work experience requirement and seek entry into Full Membership as a Registered Professional Planner. Beyond this, both the Mentor and the Candidate member should benefit from the collegial nature of the mentorship through the exchange of ideas, sharing of experiences, and development of new perspectives.
Who Can Be a Mentor?
A Mentor must be a Full Member of the Institute in good standing who has more than three years’ experience as a Full Member (Registered Professional Planner or equivalent) with the Canadian Institute of Planners and/or an Affiliate. Since the Mentor’s role is intended to be collegial, it is anticipated that the Mentor will often be a supervisor, close work colleague, or other close professional colleague of the Candidate member, although this is not mandatory.
What Is Involved In Being a Mentor?
The Mentor must agree to Candidate member’s request to serve as their Mentor, and should be provided with a copy of the Guide for Candidate Members and Mentors upon agreeing to serve as a Mentor. Mentors should carefully review and familiarize themselves with this Guide, and use it for reference as they undertake their role. Mentors will ultimately be required to sign a formal Mentorship Agreement, and are further strongly encouraged to take the simple Mentor orientation, available here.
As a Mentor, you should meet with the Candidate member you are mentoring every two months, either in person or, if this is not feasible due to scheduling or geography, using technology such as teleconference, an instant messaging program or Skype. During these meetings, you will work cooperatively with the Candidate member to ensure s/he has a plan to achieve an acceptable level and range of the profession’s competencies while s/he completes the practical work experience requirements.
Mentorship lasts a minimum of one year. It could be longer, as you must satisfy yourself that you and the Candidate member have achieved the goals of the mentorship program. These include ensuring that the Candidate:
- Has the technical knowledge necessary to his/her area of specialization
- Understands the scope of planning practice
- Appreciates and applies professional accountability and ethical standards
- Understands the planner’s responsibility to the public interest
- Is aware of his/her commitment to the Institute, and
- Achieves an acceptable level and range of the profession’s competencies
As part of your responsibility, you will cover the following topics with the Candidate member:
- The Institute’s Code of Ethics.
- The Institute’s Code of Professional Conduct.
- The role of the ‘public interest’ in professional planning.
- The role of the profession in maintaining standards of competency, ethics and professionalism.
- A broad range of the profession’s competencies.
The Guide for Candidate Members and Mentors includes suggestions for structuring these meetings and activities you can undertake with the Candidate member. Please remember that mentorship is a two-way street, exposing you to the Candidate’s perspectives, experiences and knowledge; you should benefit from the program as well.
In addition to the formal mentorship, you and your Candidate may wish to meet just before s/he writes the Professional Examination, to review lessons learned and particularly to discuss ‘public interest’ and the profession’s standards of competency, ethics and professionalism. Candidates have reported this to be beneficial, and it helps keep these topics fresh in your mind, too.
Kindly note that most Affiliates will allow CPL credits for mentorship activities.
Concluding the Mentorship
Ideally, you will work with your Candidate member until you are satisfied that s/he has fulfilled the expectations of the program. At that time, you will be asked by the Candidate to sign off on the Record of Mentorship, verifying that you are satisfied that, together, you and the Candidate member have met the program’s objectives. You should also sign and, if appropriate, comment on a record of each meeting. The Candidate will prepare this record, and should send it to you shortly after each meeting. This allows you to be more fully aware of his/her progress.
While we hope that you and your Candidate member will complete the program together, we recognize that this is not always possible. Either you or the Candidate member may terminate the mentorship at any time. If this happens, you will be asked to sign off on the period during which the two of you have worked together. The Candidate retains any credit accumulated during the period you have worked with him/her. It is the Candidate’s responsibility to notify PSB if your mentorship arrangement is terminated in this way, and to identify a new Mentor.
If you have any questions about mentorship, please contact the Executive Director at the PSB office.