Role and responsibilities of mentors


It is a fundamental principle of the NDCMP that a mentor is someone who can share skills, knowledge and experience with their mentee. Evidence of the suitability of prospective mentors will come from the following: 

  • The prospective mentor will have occupied a substantive post for a minimum of 5 years which has required them to exercise significant clinical and leadership and management responsibilities and could include clinical or medical director or a teaching or training role  
  • The prospective mentor will be engaged in personal development themselves – including continuous personal development, appraisal, or other performance management assessments – and have achieved satisfactory revalidation 
  • A willingness to share evidence of satisfactory personal development and potentially to participate in some form of 360° appraisal process1 during induction as a Mentor.   

In addition, to be appointed to the role of mentor, a consultant offering their services as a mentor on the Programme will need to demonstrate some specific characteristics, personal attributes and behaviours. An effective mentor will be: 

  • Proactive
  • Supportive 
  • Prepared to act as a ‘sounding board 
  • Comfortable adopting a coaching style of leadership2 
  • A ‘critical friend’, someone who challenges the mentees’ thinking and decision-making when they might make a significant (and/or costly) and avoidable mistake    
  • A facilitator of ‘appropriate professional support’ in times of need

In the context of the NDCMP, a mentor should NOT be expected to be:

  • A leadership trainer 
  • Paternalistic
  • An ‘agony aunt  
  • Someone who takes responsibility for individual issues and challenges
  • Self-seeking and lazy. 



  • Confirm commitment to personal development (including willingness to undertake 360° appraisal)  
  • Provide details of referee 
  • Submit statement of intent 

Induction and orientation

  • Mandatory attendance  at orientation workshop run annually 
  • Complete personal details form 
  • Submit Statement/Confirmation/Personal details

Mentee matching

  • Accept mentee at discretion 
  • Liaise with mentee 
  • Reach agreement 
  • Notify programme committee of agreement to proceed 
  • Proceed.

Attendance at meetings

  • Attend at least one meeting per year 


  • Identify lessons learned (6-monthly meetings) 
  • Provide feedback to programme committee   


  1. Or to share the results of a previous 360° appraisal. The Programme will use the NHS-wide 360° Clinical application as its 360° appraisal tool
  2. A coaching style of leadership is one in which the leader avoids directing colleagues to specific actions enabling and empowering instead the individual to find the solutions to problems themselves. (Ken Blanchard)  

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