by Helen Moulsley

The contract

By the end of the first meeting, you will be in a position for the mentee to go away and draw up a contract by which you will both work. This covers some important principles, such as confidentiality. It also provides structure and ensures that mentor and mentee have a common understanding of how they will work together.

The contract will cover some or all of the following:

  • Frequency of face-to-face meetings and/or telephone meetings (schedule in the dates)
  • Other mechanisms for communicating in between meetings (for example, email or phone)
  • Duration of the mentoring relationship
  • A statement on confidentiality which applies to mentor and mentee (for example, ‘I understand that information provide by the mentor/mentee will be treated in complete confidence and will not be discussed outside meetings unless expressly agreed by both parties’)
  • Tracking and review of the process and reporting back (if appropriate – this is more likely to be required where the mentoring is taking place as part of a structured programme)
  • Objectives – a statement of what they are, plus dates for review (for example, quarterly)
  • Scope of the mentoring (for example, immediate job, career development, personal development); you may want to be explicit about what is not included
  • A statement from the mentee agreeing that they will be proactive and drive (project manage) the relationship
  • Date for final review and closure (note: the mentor and mentee may decide to continue beyond formal closure)