Mentorship Program - Mentor


  1. Definition
  2. Characteristics of a Mentor
  3. Program Structure
  4. Process
  5. Guidance
  6. Supporting Documents


  1. Definition: 

Mentorship refers to a developmental relationship between a more experienced person to help a less experienced person develop in a specified capacity.  In the present context, this will usually result in the person being mentored to have more refined skills as a quality professional, be better prepared to sit for certification (CPHQ), or prepare professionally to seek elected or appointed office, or all.

A Mentor is an individual experienced in quality principles and practice who can help guide another's individual development within the field of quality.

A Mentee is an individual seeking mentorship by a qualified person to meet specified learning objectives.

  1. Characteristics of a Mentor
  1. A desire to help (Individuals who are interested in and willing to help others)
  2. Have had positive experiences (Individuals who have had positive formal or informal experiences with a mentor tend to be good mentors themselves)
  3. Good reputation for developing other (Experienced people who have a good reputation for helping others develop their skills)
  4. Time and energy (People who have the time and mental energy to devote to the relationship)
  5. Up-to-date knowledge (Individuals who have maintained current, up-to-date technological knowledge and/or skills)
  6. Learning attitude (Individuals who are still willing and able to learn and who see the potential benefits of a mentoring relationship)
  7. Demonstrated effective managerial/mentoring skills (Individuals who have demonstrated effective coaching, counseling, facilitating and networking skills)
  1. Program Structure:
  1. Mentor Qualifications
    1. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality or 5 years experience in field in a role or work aspect for which mentee is seeking guidance.
    2. Working in healthcare quality field for at least 5 years (not necessarily all years following CPHQ designation, if applicable).
    3. Knowledgeable of, though not necessarily employment in, the mentored individual’s field or practice setting
    4. One reference letter from an individual familiar with the prospective mentor’s mentorship abilities (see attached format) attesting to qualification as a role model or mentor
    5. Knowledgeable in all relevant content outline sections relevant to mentorship plan and objective(s)
  1. Mentor’s Duties
    1. Prepare and submit a structured mentorship plan proposal.  Plan must include the following elements (See Section IV.1 below and Sample Plans for Fundamental and Advance Levels):
      1. Learning objective(s) (knowledge or skill to be achieved)
      2. Lesson (outline of planned mentorship “sessions” (what is to be accomplished in each session
      3. Estimated or planned timeline for completion
      4. Resources to be used ( websites, published works, mentor’s examples and tools)
      5. Facilitation methodology to be employed, (e.g., literature review, experience, application)
      6. How the learning will be measured;  that is,  how accomplishment of the learning objectives is to be determined (e.g., practice, development of tools)
    2. Maintain a log of each session, outlining (1) objective, (2) how met, (3) length of session and (4) date accomplished.  This requirement may be met through the use of the Mentorship Plan rather than creating another document.
    3. Conduct the mentorship as closely to the submitted plan as reasonably possible.
    4. Exhibit the characteristics and practice the principles of a high performing mentor
    5. Execute the Mentorship Commitment Agreement.

  2.  Mentee’s Duties
    1. Prepare a mentorship application
    2. Prepare for, comply with and perform follow up activities as agreed upon with the Mentor
    3. Execute the Mentorship Commitment Agreement
    4. Complete an evaluation of the mentorship experience after each session (See Sample Evaluation Format)

  3. TAHQ Mentorship Committee
    1. A Mentorship Committee is established to oversee the program.
    2. Membership on this Committee comes from among currently active TAHQ members and number no less than three (3).  TAHQ Mentorship Committee members are appointed annually by the TAHQ President; however, such members may not also be serving in a role as a TAHQ officer or as a TAHQ Standing Committee Chair, nor be the letter of reference source for the applicant.
  1. Process:
  1. Application
    1. Prospective Mentor submits a Mentor Application attesting to qualifications for serving in role as a mentor for identified objective(s); generally completed once and approved for use with one or more mentees (see Mentor Application)
    2. Once Mentor Application is approved by TAHQ Mentorship Committee, the approved Mentor submits a structured, written Mentorship Plan with a specific individual and objective(s), outlining (1) objective to be met in each session, (2) resources to be used, (3) how the objective(s) is/are to be met  (e.g., literature review, discussion, experience, practice) and (4) estimated timeline for completion of each session and the overall structured program (e.g., 1 hour weekly and completion within 1 year).

  2. Methodology
    1. Accomplished through either telephone conference or face-to-face
    2. Structured written plan and signed “Commitment Agreement”
    3. Focus on “why” (principle), then “how” (application)

  3. Matching Mentee to Mentor
    1. Person seeking to be a mentor must first submit and have approved a Mentor Application. Once approved, the person is eligible to pursue a mentorship. This will permit the person to mentor more than one individual and provide a database of approved mentors when “matching” is available.
    2. Person seeking to mentor a specific individual prepares and submits a formal Mentorship Plan, which outlines the specifics associated with a particular person and specified objectives.
    3. A Mentor Bank is established and maintained by the TAHQ administrator on the TAHQ website to permit Mentee applications or requests to be completed on line and uploaded into a web site database for matching with an approved mentor. The Mentorship Committee will "match" Mentees to Mentors on line. 

  4. Mentorship Application Evaluation
    1. Application assessed objectively by the TAHQ Mentorship Committee. 
    2. Continuing Education hours are awarded based upon submission of the final mentorship plan and the mentee evaluation indicating that the objectives were met. Please see the recognition section immediately below indicating the maximum CEs to be awarded by TAHQ.

  5. Recognition
    1. TAHQ will award one (1) CE hour for each five (5) logged hours of mentoring that is conducted through this formal process.
    2. Maximum of ten (10) CEs will be awarded each two year period (note:  this limitation allows recertifying CPHQs at least 20 CE hours for personal continuing education each 2-year recertification cycle).
  1. Guidance
  1. Principles of Mentorship
    1. Facilitator rather than lecturer
    2. Good listener
    3. Respectful of mentored individuals thoughts and ideas
    4. Provide the principle; allow the mentored individual to adapt the principle to mentored individual’s setting
    5. Tie each mentor session to the relevant mentorship objective
    6. Assign relevant homework to each session (e.g., reading, research, experience, practice)
    7. Emphasize that there is more than one “right” way to apply principle to setting (i.e., focus on “what” is to be learned, rather than “how” to do it)
    8. Facilitate learning rather than provide test question response

  2. Mentorship Planning
    1. Developing the mentorship plan normally requires a dialog between the mentor and mentee.  The process begins with a review of the mentorship objectives the mentee provided in their application.  These are ordinarily expressed in very broad terms and the mentee often has a base knowledge of the subject area but desires growth and development in the underlying principles associated with the subject matter or the finer points of putting the processes and knowledge into use.   
    2. This dialog, then, will guide the preparation of the specific topics to be addressed during the mentorship, referred to as “lesson” in the sample mentorship plan.  Once the topics have been identified, the mentor next writes the formal learning objectives (please see section 11 below for further guidance and accompanying sample mentorship plans – fundamental and advanced).
    3. Next, the mentor prepares a resource list for the learning.  Consider a web search, widely recognized books, monographs, white papers, IHI On-Demand courses (free), tools/examples and works developed by the mentor, the NAHQ member-only resource site and the like.  It is important to vary the resource media to retain the interest of the mentee over time.  The resource list should be provided to the mentee in sufficient time for them to prepare their part of the learning session and to allow for them to purchase or access those resources they need or desire.
    4. The methodology for the mentoring session is critical to the outcome.  Discern whether the mentee objectives and/or the subject matter are oriented more along the lines of knowledge (recall and fact application) or skill (demonstrated experience, applied practice and/or analysis), or both.  This process will guide the selection of methodology.  Recall and fact application are often handled through reading, review and discussion.  Skills are best developed by doing, based on discussion of how the skill is performed.  In long distance situations (mentoring over the phone or web), consider developing a series of scenarios for the mentee to verbally apply in the mentorship session, followed by actual practice and implementation in the work environment.
    5. Preparing measures of whether the learning has taken place is a match between the learning objective and the environment in which the mentee desires to apply what they have learned.  Consider measures that will serve a purpose after the mentorship has ended, such as preparation of user guides, policies or other products the mentee might also need to prepare as part of their work. In other words, these should be as useful to the mentee as possible.
    6. Finally, decide on timeframes for accomplishing the plan.  The dates and times should allow for sufficient preparation between sessions and the mentor and mentee to avoid distractions. In many cases, a once per week session of an hour or two will meet the needs.  If a particular topic is complex, consider breaking it into smaller parts, each subsequent session building on the prior session.

  3. “Objective” Writing
    1. Objective(s) can, and should, be stated in terms of whether learning is achieved through knowledge (recall and/or application) or skill (demonstrated experience, applied practice and/or analysis).
    2. The objective should be stated in terms that connote measurable outcomes for the Mentee from the session experience.
    3. See examples at the Sample Mentorship Plan.

  4. Mentorship Evaluation
    1. At the conclusion of the mentorship, or at intervals selected by the mentor/mentee, their experience should be evaluated.
    2. A sample evaluation format is provided with this program description on the TAHQ website. The features are:  the mentorship objectives, a 1-5 scale assessment of whether they were met, an assessment of the mentor’s skills in serving in the role and how the mentee will use this new knowledge or how the experience will advance the mentee’s job or career and any additional comments.
  1. Supporting Documents


Description and Use

1. Mentor Application

Captures the information relevant to appraisal of a person’s background, experiences and capability to ably perform duties as a mentor.  Completed by the prospective mentor, submitted to TAHQ Mentorship Committee, and, once approved, maintained in a TAHQ database for use in matching to a mentee.

2. Sample Mentorship Plans (Fundamental and Advanced examples)

Provides 2 examples of an acceptable plan for conducting the mentorship, showing several forms of objective statements and methodologies and at two levels: fundamental or introductory and advanced.  Format also can be used to complete required activity or session log.

3. Sample Letter of Recommendation

Provides an example of the specificity, length and format for an acceptable reference letter to be obtained by a prospective mentor.

4. Sample Mentorship Program Evaluation

Provides an example of the content used to evaluate whether or not the objectives of a mentorship session were met and how the mentee would use the information or experience they received in the mentorship in their job or career.  “Session” may refer to a single event or a series of sessions that are covering the same material.  For example, a series of sessions may be devoted to the principles of statistics.  These may be evaluated at one time, rather than after each separate event.

Updated: January 24, 2015





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