Mentoring is a professional relationship that pairs an experienced person – the mentor – with a less experienced individual – the mentee. This relationship can help to maximize the potential of both participants, with one providing seasoned experience and the other offering a fresh perspective on the job, and willingness to learn.
There are times that mentorship happens without a formal structure—think of job shadowing for your first few days on a new job. While it is very helpful, sometimes you wish you had a little more support.
The Safety Codes Council (Council) has developed a formal mentoring program which is free to participants. The program may be required for safety codes officers (SCOs) in the plumbing, electrical, building, and fire disciplines who have not completed all training requirements. It is a certification requirement for all new Gas SCOs.
Mentorship may be a tool to achieve SCO status more quickly. For example, an applicant for certification whose training is not quite complete may be granted probationary certification with a mentorship while completing his or her final course. Benefits of a formal mentor/mentee program are:
- Structure and guidelines
- Mentor and mentee support from the Safety Codes Council
The Council will provide an orientation session for the mentor and mentee, a mentoring logbook and guide, check-ins during the program, and support for any issues that may arise.
Benefits of Mentorship
The benefits of mentorship are far-reaching. A well-trained and knowledgeable safety codes officer helps society and their organization. Mentor, mentee and the employer or sponsoring organization all accomplish more with great leadership and time-honored work experience.
What does it take?
- A mentor is a guide, a teacher, and a coach. Mentors are generous with their time and willing to share their experience to help another person succeed. Mentors are responsible for providing information, demonstrations, and feedback; answering questions, and making time for the mentee. At the same time, they develop leadership skills and get a fresh perspective on that they do.
- The mentor must be a certified safety codes officer.
- The mentor must possess a positive attitude and aptitude for leadership.
- It is a mentee’s job to listen, observe, ask questions and participate fully in the mentorship tasks. In return, they gain accelerated knowledge and technical skills not easily learned by course work; including, practical work experience, supervised task completion, feedback, and a variety of experiences. Participating in a mentorship can accelerate certification; probationary certification allows a mentee who doesn’t meet all the requirements to work as a restricted SCO during formal mentorship.
- The mentee must be currently employed in an organization that provides safety inspections in the relevant disciplines, and can be certified as standard or probationary.
- The mentee must be motivated! What a mentee puts into this program is directly related to what he or she gets out of it.
- Well-trained employees mean fewer mistakes and a better quality workforce. A formal mentoring program will ensure that your organization will have consistent standards of code interpretation. To get the most out of the program, the employer must support the mentoring process within the organization.
- The employer must provide sufficient time for the mentor and mentee to work together to complete the learning tasks.
- The employer must authorize the mentorship through execution of a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out the obligations of all participants.
- Average length of program: 6 – 12 months, depending on the mentee’s entry qualifications. Some probationary certifications may require a longer period of mentorship before standard certification can be granted.
- A mandatory orientation will make sure that all participants understand what’s required. Participant feedback is used to make improvements to the program.
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