Arkansas Local Section of AIHA

 

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Mentoring Program

 

Mentoring Program

Mentor or Mentee Application

Introduction

Mentoring is the process of providing coaching, guidance, insight, and technical information to a less-experienced professional or student.    A mentee is the individual who receives the benefit of the professional knowledge.  However, a well matched mentoring process is equally beneficial for both individuals and can lead to sustained professional relationships.

Informal mentoring occurs frequently in the workplace and through professional affiliations.  However, the program coordinated through the AR local Section of AIHA is intended to be a structured program.  The benefit of a structured program is to match compatible candidates and create objectives and activities that will maximize the opportunities and benefits for professional development.   The AR Section membership will provide a Program Coordinator to manage the mentoring program and a Mentoring Committee that will coordinate the pairing of candidates and oversee the mentoring process.

Program Objectives

The main purpose of the mentoring program is to provide opportunities for interactions and exchange of ideas and knowledge between Senior and Young Professionals.    Individuals participating in the mentoring program are encouraged to prepare personal objectives to match their individual development needs.

Structure and Requirements

The AIHA local section will communicate and promote the Mentoring program at meetings and thorough e-mails, newsletters, and the local section website.  Both the mentor and mentee are asked to complete and submit applications to the Mentoring Committee.   The committee will review and attempt to match potential candidates. 

One member of the committee will act as a sponsor and will contact a potential mentoring pair and initiate communications.  Once the initial contact is made, it is up to the mentoring pair to decide on a partnership.  The pair will discuss mutual goals and possible contact activities.  The pair will be responsible for selecting the type, frequency, and content of the meetings.  Contact should be on a monthly basis, and regular face-to-face meetings are recommended.  However, if scheduling or travel makes face-to-face meetings impractical, then other types of meetings are acceptable.   The mentor is asked to maintain a meeting log that include the dates, approximate times, and type of contact.   If the contact time includes technical information, this should be specified in the meeting log.   Certified Industrial Hygienists can use the volunteer mentoring activities to receive CM points if the activities and training are documented on a tracking sheet and the stated learning goals are within a recognized IH rubric.   Participants in the mentoring process are asked to follow the practices prescribed in this program.  The sponsor will be a point of contact with the pair and provide any needed support or resolve any conflicts or difficulties.  

The mentoring pairs are asked to participate in the mentoring program for a minimum of 6 months and up to 1 year.  The pairs should provide feedback to the sponsor so that improvements can be made in the mentoring process.   After one year the pair can request to renew the agreement, request a new pairing or retire from the program.

Program Coordinator

The program coordinator will manage the communications, collect applications, plan the mentoring committee meetings, and maintain documentation for the mentoring program.   The program coordinator will also either provide or coordinate the training for mentors.

The program coordinator will present certificates for mentors and mentees at the successful completion of the mentoring cycle.  The program coordinator will also conduct an annual evaluation of the mentoring program.

Mentoring Committee

The mentoring committee will be made of at least 3 local section volunteers, one of which will be the program coordinator.  Each committee member will also act as sponsors for mentoring pairs.   The committee will meet and discuss the matching of potential candidates.  The committee can also be called upon by a sponsor to assist in conflict resolutions.   The chairperson will schedule meetings as necessary to manage the mentoring program.  An annual meeting will also be held to discuss feedback from the mentoring pairs and to make changes or improvements in the mentoring program.

Members of the committee are not excluded from being a mentor, but must have another committee member serve as their sponsor.  

Pair Selection and Matching

Both Mentor and Mentees will complete a short application form to outline their professional experience or interest, and other information that they wish to volunteer to be used in the matching process.  The applications will be submitted to a Selection Committee for review and pairing potential candidates.  The relationship between the pair may not be part of normal job responsibilities.

Pairs will be introduced through a Mentoring Committee Sponsor.  The pair should discuss their individual goals and objectives related to the mentoring program, and the types of contact meetings that fit their schedules. If the pair agrees to the mentor/mentee mach, they will initiate a participation agreement.  The participation agreement should be communicated to the Mentoring Committee member to initiate the partnership.

Discontinued Mentoring

The mentoring process is established upon a volunteer basis by both the Mentor and Mentee.  If a Mentor or Mentee is unsatisfied with the mentor/mentee relationship or contact activities, they should inform the sponsor or mentoring committee.  Any mentor or mentee can discontinue the participation agreement at any time and for any reason.  

Examples of Contact Time

Activities and interactions will be established with mutual agreement between the Mentor and Mentee.  The following are examples of acceptable contact meetings:

  • Shadowing during business meetings, consultation or field work,

  • Attending classes or training sessions with, or conducted by the Mentor, (not a registered student where the instructor is a mentor)

  • Participating in continuing education through e-mails, web training, or other electronic media,

  • Attending informal lunches to discuss career objectives, opportunities, or learning goals,

  • Participating in projects promoting safety and health objectives.

 Face-to-face contact for mentoring is preferred.  However, since physical distance and the expense and time for travel can limit contact time between pairs, the Committee will consider alternatives to face-to-face interaction for contact time as long as learning objectives are met.  The AR Local section will not discriminate against mentoring participants based on financial resources, physical abilities, sex, race, age or any other protected status.

Continuing Maintenance Points

Mentor volunteer time should be recorded on a tracking form to indicate the type of activities or fieldwork in the partnership and the contact time.  It is the responsibility of the CIH to document and maintain these records for recertification.  Mentors will receive 1 CM point for completing a mentoring partnership with a minimum of 6 contact hours.  In addition, field work involving at least 3 hours of the mentor’s participation will be awarded 0.5 points.  The cumulative points each year should be recorded in the “Other” category of the ABIH recertification worksheet.  A maximum of 5 CM points are possible for mentoring in any one recertification cycle.