I did the Chartership mentor training on 5th September and then time went whooshy (it did, didn’t it?) and now it’s mid-October and I STILL haven’t found anyone to co-sign my mentor application form –  how hard is it to find a chartered person that I can bribe ask? I also promised that I would write up my thoughts on the training day, so I have found my notes and will attempt to remember the pertinent points.

The training was split into two parts: 1. Mentoring generally and 2. The CILIP mentoring process. I had expected the day to be mostly about the latter and only a bit about  the former, so I was a little surprised that we did some exercises on learning styles and active listening. They were really interesting (for example, we read too much into body language) but felt quite general, considering that it was only a one-day course.

The section on giving feedback (particularly constructive feedback) was helpful and I have taken much of the information back and applied it to supervision sessions with my Library Assistant, e.g. framing feedback in a positive way, sharing the problem and working towards a solution, and techniques for drawing the other person out.

After lunch we got down to the nitty-gritty of the CILIP mentoring scheme. There is no substiute for going away and reading the regulations yourself (and no amount of training will force you to do that) but there were some really helpful bits of information:

1. You don’t have to mentor someone if you don’t want to.

2. Have a contingency plan in place if you find you can’t mentor the person any more

3. Get the mentee to set their own target dates

4. When you arrange a meeting with a mentee, give them an agenda beforehand, so that they can contribute to it. It also formalises the discussion.

5. Mentees doing ACLIP don’t have to pay for CILIP membership until they submit their portfolio, but they can’t get the qualification unti they’ve paid their fees

Most importantly:

6. The mentor DOESN’T make the final decision on the acceptance of a portfolio. They are only an advisor and cannot be held responsible for the success or failure of a candidate. It’s the mentees’ submission, not the mentors’.

Bearing all of that in mind, I’ll be appearing on a mentor list near you soon as soon as I find someone to co-sign the ruddy form.



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