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Mentoring scheme

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The purpose of this scheme is for mentors to share their expertise to help other IIRSM members develop their knowledge, skills and/ or behaviours and achieve their objectives.  

The full details can be found below.  

About mentoring
What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a method of helping an individual reflect, learn and develop professionally through the support of someone more experienced. 

Anyone in any stage of their career can benefit from being mentored, from someone just entering the world of work through to someone in a leadership role who may be dealing with new challenges or opportunities. 

What are the benefits of mentoring?

Mentoring provides mentees with the opportunity to: 

  • acquire new knowledge and skills 
  • improve self-awareness and confidence  
  • discuss challenges and aspirations with a neutral person 
  • gain insight from someone more experienced
  • grow network

Mentoring provides mentors with the opportunity to: 

  • positively impact the performance and career development of someone else 
  • build and improve skills in developing others 
  • gain new insights from mentees 
  • grow network 
Is mentoring the same as coaching?

Like mentoring, coaching is another method of helping an individual reflect, learn and develop professionally. However, there are some distinct differences.






Coaching usually focuses on the development of a specifc skill.

Mentoring has a broader remit. As well as helping individuals develop specific skills, the intervention can also provide broader careers support.



Coaching is a regular, structured intervention. 

Mentoring may be more reactive in nature, with the individual seeking support and guidance from a mentor as and when they need it. 



Coaching relationships are usually relatively short-term. Once the objective has been met the intervention will no longer be required.

As mentoring is about providing broader support, the length of the relationship can be much longer. 


Level of directiveness  

Coaches use non-directive techniques, meaning they do not tell the individual how to achieve a change but guide them in indentifying the steps they need to take. 

Whilst mentors may also use non-directive coaching techniques, they can also share examples and lessons learned from their own experiences for the individual to consider. 



Coaches do not necessarily need experience of the individuals work area, but will need training or experience of coaching techniques.

Mentors usually hold experience which is directly relevant to the individual's professional objectives. They will be able to share relevant experiences from their own career. 


Webinar recording 

Earlier in 2019, Hugh Maxwell FIIRSM and Grant Thompson SIIRSM, two IIRSM members who were paired under the scheme, shared their experiences and top tips for success during our webinar 'Reaping the benefits: IIRSM mentoring scheme.' You can view the recording here

Q&A with a mentor and mentee 

Mentee: Damon Noble MIIRSM, HSEQ Manager, Ecotec Services Ltd. 

Why did you apply to be mentored? It is a privilege to have the opportunity to be mentored by a professional who has "walked the walk." The chance to talk to and learn from your peers is an essential learning process. 

What have you gained? Confidence in my ability. My communication skills, learning style and career direction have all improved too. 

What are you top tips for being mentored?

  • Listen carefully. 
  • Take any constructive criticism with a positive attitude. 
  • There is no such thing as a stupid question. 
  • Expect to work hard. 
  • Remain focused on goals. 

The relationship is similar to Yoda and Skywalker! 

Mentor: Mark Cardnell FIIRSM, QHSE Senior Consultant, KTM Compliance 

Why did you join the mentoring scheme? I wanted to be able to enhance my mentee's career development skills through my own learning experiences. I felt that there is a requirement for a structured approach to learning in our work environment and the mentoring scheme provided the opportunity to display and engage on leadership, interpersonal skills, communication and the values of the IIRSM in professional networking.  

What are your top tips for being a mentor? The first step of the process for me is about confidence. Providing clear, coherent and structured information to ensure that the mentee grew in confidence, trust and willingness to progress at speed. The targets and objectives provided a clear step by step approach to which all parties were able to display, communicate and build an effective career path and very importantly a friendship for many years to come.  

What have you learned from the experience? I am always open to enhance my skills through engaging on other people’s points of view and their own experiences. The mentoring process has provided me with valuable experience into other organisations compliance systems, training and technology and how these differ and how in some cases diverse methods effect the working environment, people and the organisations as a whole. 

Mentoring streams

There are three streams available: 

Stream 1: Traditional scheme 

Join this scheme as a mentee if you are seeking support from someone who has 'been there, done that.' 

Join this scheme as a mentor, if you are an experienced professional who has a strong interest and enthusiasm for developing individuals earlier on in their career.  

Stream 2: Reverse mentoring 

Join this scheme as a mentee if you would benefit from being partnered with a generation Zer or millenial, to gain insight into who drives younger people or new technological or social trends. 

Join this scheme is a mentee if you are a generation Zer or millenial who is enthusiastic about risk management and willing to share your insight. 

Stream 3: Recipriocal mentoring 

Recipriocal mentoring is for you if you're looking to connect with an individual working at the same level as you but in a different function, company or industry to gain an alternative perspective on how to approach your work, to share your own experiences and support one another through similar challenges. 



We expect those participating in the scheme to be matched for an initial period of 3 months, however there are no set rules and the relationship can continue beyond this point if all is going well. 

The frequency and length of each meeting is to be mutually agreed by the matched individuals. It will depend on what the mentee wants to achieve as well as the time both are able to commit. As a minimum, we would expect individuals to meet at least three times over three month period. Meetings can take place face-to-face or remotely, via Skype or telephone. 

Application timetable  

Stream 1

There are three application periods per year: Summer, Autumn and Winter. The key dates for the Winter application period are: 

Mentor application deadline 22 January 2021
Mentee application deadline  5 February 2021
Mentors & mentees matched  by 19 February 2021


Mentoring streams 2 & 3. 

Find out more and register your interest by emailing

Application process 

As part of the application process you are asked to provide some information about your experience and what are you are looking to achieve through participation in the scheme, whether as a mentor or mentee. The relevant guidance and forms will be made available in due course. 

Further guidance

For more information, application guidance is available to download below. Contact for information about streams 2 & 3.  You can also find out more about mentoring on the Support & Resources tab. 



The Mentor & Mentee Handbooks are available to download from the bottom of this page. The handbooks provide guidance on what is involved in mentoring, how mentors and mentees are matched, and tips and techniques for success. 


In 2019, Hugh Maxwell FIIRSM and winner of IIRSM's Mentor of the Year 2019 Award, and Grant Thompson SIIRSM, two IIRSM members who were paired under the scheme, shared their experiences and top tips during our webinar 'Reaping the benefits: IIRSM mentoring scheme.' You can view the recording here


Contact us

To find out more about the scheme or to register your interest, contact Dina Khalidi, Head of Learning & Development at IIRSM, on