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Seb Anthony

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coaching? mentoring? confused? I am !!


I have been tasked with putting together what our organisation calls a "mentoring pack". Currently the skills for this role are delivered using a traditional classroom based solution. However it has been recognised that now all of the units nationwide are running there will only be the occasional new person joining that stream of work and a long classroom event is a non starter. This is where I come in. They have asked me to produce this mentoring pack based around the e-learning modules that we have and other learning resourses so that it can be used on a 1-2-1 basis when new staff arrive to prepare them for their role. Would you see this as coaching or mentoring? The reason I ask is because I have also been tasked with procuring a mentor/coach training qualifiaction for the chosen few 1-2-1 trainers to attend. This course must also be accreditted. Bearing in mind the application outlined above which do you think would be most appropriate and do you know anywhere that can provide such a product?

Craig Mitchell

3 Responses

  1. same difference!
    There’s a case for saying that mentoring is just an older-fashioned word for coaching, but the essential distinction to me is that a mentor is typically an older, wiser person passing on their wisdom to someone younger and less wise (see origin of word mentor in Greek myth). A coach typically will draw back from giving advice and will see their role as managing learning, not giving instruction, So you’re right, this is where it gets complicated. Personally I believe that the best mentors use coaching principles and the best coaches rarely do mentoring.
    If your eyes aren’t watering by now, you could look at what is provided by the mentoring unit at Sheffield Hallam University where 2 doughty pioneers still work – Clutterbuck and Megginson. They deliver training accredited by the University. The ILM offers several curricula for coach-mentor training and my company, Management Futures runs an ILM accredited Diploma course at Level 7 (post-grad). Look on our website for details.
    Just one thing – I don’t believe for a moment that you can learn mentoring or coaching skills through e-learning. Sorry – but it’s a face to face skill that needs immediate and skilled feedback from an experienced practitioner!

  2. Thanks – clarification
    Thanks for this Jenny. The training for the coaches/mentors is not to be delivered by e-learning I dont think i made myself clear. The package they use with mentees will include an element of e-learning sorry. The staff that will be delivering this as mentors are generally first line manager level and therefore I think level 7 would be difficult for them to achieve as most dont have an undergrad degree. Do you know of any qualifiactions at a lower level?

  3. Mentoring practice based qualification
    About three years ago, I was able to run a mentoring programme where by on completion of evidence booklet discribing thier relationship and the process followed with the mentee they received an acreditation from European Mentoring and Coaching council. Contact them for futher info. Contact details on thier web site


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