Become a PgCert mentor

Being a PgCert mentor is a valuable and rewarding experience. Not only are you playing a vital role in a colleague’s professional and personal development, but you’re also giving something worthwhile back to higher education.

What is PgCert mentoring?

AHEP’s Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) is a challenging, self-directed, distance and work-based learning programme aimed at HE professionals. It is delivered online over 12 months in collaboration with Nottingham Business School. To support students in their independent learning they are each assigned a mentor.

More information about the PgCert programme, its structure and assessment can be found on our PgCert webpages.

The mentor relationship allows students to broaden their perspectives and to challenge thinking beyond their immediate professional context.

Supporting a student through the PgCert programme you share your professional experience, make a real contribution to their career development and ultimately give something back to the sector.

As a mentor your role is to:

– Help your student to plan and review their progress
– Assist them in identifying opportunities for professional development
– Challenge them to reflect critically on their professional practice in development
– Encourage them to explore different approaches to assessments

Expectations of the role

The duration of the programme is 12 months so you will be required to commit to the role for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of three years to see the mentoring relationship through. The mentoring relationship is conducted virtually via online meetings such as Zoom or Teams. You should expect to ‘meet’ with your student for a minimum of three times throughout the programme. To be allocated a mentee you will be required to attend initial training.

Mentors tell us that the experience of supporting someone’s professional development is very rewarding.

You can expect to develop your own skills and become more reflective about your own role. You will deepen your understanding of the sector as you read and discuss written assignments on areas of higher education that you may have limited knowledge about.

You will also extend your professional network by getting to know new people, students and other mentors, at institutions other than your own.

The relationship with my mentor was a highlight of the programme for me and I truly valued the support they provided

Louise Tomenson, PgCert alumnus

Support while you are a mentor

Being a mentor gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction, particularly when you watch them cross the stage at a graduation. The relationships I have formed have been mutually supportive.  I have gained as much from them as they have from me.  The opportunity has given me insight into the workings of a wide range of institutions, something which I would not have happened if I had not become a mentor

Nick Allen, Executive Officer in the Office of the Vice Chancellor, University of Northampton

All new mentors receive free initial training where the details of the programme will be explained and mentoring skills will be explored. You will also have the option of attending further free refresher events. These are delivered as online sessions.

Mentors will receive a Mentor Handbook, which contains all the specific information about the programme as well as information about mentoring. Mentors are given access to the online workspace ‘NOW’ where there is a separate area for mentors to view further guidance on the programme content and a dedicated AHEP Microsoft Teams area for PgCert mentors.

The AHEP’s Teaching and Learning Manager and the Professional Development Coordinator are on hand to answer any queries you may have about the programme. There is also a Lead Mentor in place to provide guidance and support on mentoring as well as a Mentor Representative on the Board of Studies who can offer advice.

Requirements and how to apply

We are now accepting applications to become a PgCert mentor to support our next intake of students for April 2024 – you will be required to attend an initial training session before a mentee is allocated so please read the information below to find out more.

Mentors will usually have the following:


Have a UK or Republic of Ireland (or equivalent) postgraduate qualification.

If you do not hold a postgraduate qualification you may be selected if you can demonstrate substantial relevant work experience, in mentoring, coaching or developing other members of staff (this experience does not necessarily have to have been acquired in the workplace) and/or comparable professional or other qualifications.

Eligibility for AHEP membership

To be a PgCert mentor you will be required to be/become a member of AHEP so you should be employed in a UK or Republic of Ireland higher education institution, related body or a relevant role within the HE sector – working in Professional Services. All new PgCert mentors are eligible for one offer of 12 month membership at a discounted rate of 50%.

Knowledge and understanding

You will not be expected to know about everything within the sector, but it helps if you have a broad understanding of the main issues that face HE. What is important is that you are able to advise on how gaps can be filled and to make suggestions on how students can use what’s available either within their own institution or the sector.

Your professional experience

You do not have to hold a senior position but it is likely that you will have some years’ experience of working in HE or have come to it more recently with experience that means you will be a good mentor – perhaps experience of mentoring or coaching in another sector.

A commitment to continuing professional development and an appreciation of reflective practice are as important as knowledge and experience. You will need to be able to talk with your student about their work experiences and how this can be used in the context of their learning and to make suggestions on how they might develop their skills and knowledge. An understanding of the AHEP Professional Framework will also be beneficial to the role.

Next PgCert mentor training

To be eligible to mentor on the PgCert programme we ask you to attend an initial training session.

The next online training is provisionally scheduled for 4 March 2024 from 10.00 – 12.30.

If your application is successful you will be added to the training session and sent further details of how to join. Following attendance of the training session we aim to allocate you a mentee for the next cohort. If you are unable to attend the training in March we will keep your application on hold.

Our next cohort of students is in April 2024.

Any queries, or to register your interest for future training sessions, please get in touch with

How to apply

Please complete the online application form and the PgCert team will be get back to you. If your application is successful, you will be eligible to book on to the next training session. We can then assign you a mentee from our upcoming cohort of students.

Please note, if you are not currently an AHEP member you will be required to join the Association before attending the training and a mentee is allocated – please get in touch with before applying for membership. All new mentors are eligible for a 50% discount for one 12 month AHEP membership (as a Member, Accredited Member or Fellow where applicable). This discount is only applicable for one 12 month membership.