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Mentoring within the Association of Accounting Technicians


Martina Legg, Professional Development Manager at the Association of Accounting Technicians describes their mentoring scheme, designed to match members with others to gain help, advice and support.

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is currently piloting a mentoring scheme for its members. There are 25 mentoring partnerships taking part in the pilot scheme, 12 in the South East region and 13 in the North East region. The scheme, which started in February and will run until the end of the 2003, has been very popular with over 600 applications for the few places available.

Each partnership consists of an AAT student member or newly qualified AAT member (mentee) and an experienced AAT full or fellow member (mentor). The actual mentoring is mainly taking place through monthly face-to-face to meetings, as physically meeting together to discuss issues and progress is often unbeatable. But occasionally mentoring also takes place at a distance - by telephone or e-mail.

The mentors have been trained to give advice and guidance on a range of areas from general study support to personal and career development. Richard Garnett MAAT explains why he volunteered as a mentor. "I felt it was time to put something back into my Association. I think I have experience I can usefully share with those new to accountancy whether studying or beginning to develop their careers further after qualifying. By the end of the year I really hope to have helped my mentee to develop. I also think the scheme will offer a great learning opportunity for me too."

The AAT has also trained the mentees to help them get the most out of the mentoring relationship. One AAT mentee, Karen Cargill, believes mentoring will help her in lots of ways. "I was attracted to the scheme not only for the study support, but also for the access to technical, ethical and business guidance, and support for my personal development that a mentor can offer. I think my involvement in the pilot will help me feel more confident in my abilities, and will give me an invaluable insight into other organisations and areas of practice."

The AAT has set out ground rules for its mentoring scheme pilot in a mentoring code of practice. This code is to guide both mentees and mentors in how the scheme works and what is expected of them.


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