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Mentoring is usually a long-term relationship that can cover many different topics and may change over time. Mentors can give advice, talk about their own experience, talk through options and can also use coaching techniques if they are useful.

While the arrangement is usually seen as of benefit to the mentee, the mentor as well can benefit from developing their communication skills by getting insight from someone else’s point of view and being encouraged to gently challenge and motivate someone. Mentoring can often then be very satisfying, and provide the mentor with insights into their organisation and an opportunity to reflect on their own practice.

The organisation as a whole can benefit from mentoring programmes through improved knowledge sharing, networking and the opportunities to share ideas through the organisation.

If mentoring is long-term and broad, coaching by comparison is usually short-term and addresses a specific issue. Someone might be coaching around a particular dilemma they need help with, on their management skills or to make a decision.

Coaching is also different in that it uses a specific technique – the coach asks questions to get you to consider what is important to you, what you want, how you’re going to get there and what the best way to do it might be.

To find out more about coaching click here.

To become a mentor complete your mentor profile (see the resources below) and send to orgdev@aston.ac.uk.

You will be invited to our next mentor training session – this is something that you will need to complete before you can be a mentor. The training includes content on how to mentor, how to ensure that you are clear on safeguarding responsibilities and how to manage ethical dilemmas, so we want to make sure our mentors are confident.

The mentoring pool is open to everyone at Aston. The only restrictions are whether we have any mentors available at the time and that your manager is happy for you to have time away from your role.

We know that there is already mentoring happening informally across the University and have created the mentoring programme as something that can be accessed in addition to this.

However, not everyone may be able to find a mentor and not every area is running informal mentoring so we want to make sure that this is open across the University.

If you are already mentoring someone informally and would like some additional training then get in touch with orgdev@aston.ac.uk

If you think you have something to offer someone else then you can be a mentor. You may be able to mentor someone on working at the University, about your areas of work, your research or your teaching or how you have developed your career.

What is important that you will need to be able to keep the time commitment with your mentee, and that you have the right qualities to be a mentor.

If you want to join the pool you will need to download and complete the mentee sign up form. Once you’ve done this take a look at our mentor directory – this is everyone who is available to be a mentor and their areas of interest.

Once you have decided on your preferred mentor(s) then email orgdev@aston.ac.uk with your sign up form and preferences, and we’ll start matching.

If a mentor wants to match with you we’ll ask them to get in touch and arrange a first meeting.

In order to ensure you can be released from your duties, you should ask your line manager’s permission to become a mentor or mentee in the first instance. After this the line manager will not be involved in the process, and all conversations between the mentor and mentee will remain confidential.

Mentoring does not conflict with the relationship between the line manager and the employee. A mentor will not be an employee’s line manager, and a mentor will not assign the mentee work aside from any agreed personal development actions.

We ask that you check with your manager you can fit being a mentor or being mentored in with your role here, but otherwise your manager will not be involved in the process and this is not connected to your role, your development conversation or your career at Aston. All conversations are expected to be confidential.

Our mentors are volunteers from across the University so we can’t guarantee that we will always have a mentor available, but we will look to recruit mentors at regular times during the year. If you feel you would make a good mentor then please get in touch.

On the mentee sign up form you can state what you are looking for in a mentor, and who you choose to approach is up to you. 

Yes, and this is a great way to help the programme continue. You’ll just need to create a separate profile for being a mentor and a mentee.

Yes, as long as you have the capacity to meet all your commitments and authorisation from your manager. 

Note that to be a coach you will need to be approved by Organisational Development, qualifications or experience preferred.

Mentoring Information Sessions

If you're interested in becoming a mentor book onto one of our information sessions on:

•             12th December – 14:30 – 17:00

•             19th December – 9:30 – 12:00


We have created resources for mentors and mentees to get the best out of the process: