Mentoring | Being an AHEP mentor

Being an AHEP Mentor

We hope that being a mentor on the AHEP programme will be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Below are some FAQs explaining what we are looking for in a mentor, what is involved and how the programme will be administered.

The current mentor application window closes on Monday, 27 May 2024. Following the application deadline, we will match you with a fellow AHEP member ready for your mentoring journey together.


It is anticipated that each mentor relationship will last for a maximum of 6 months and normally participants will meet monthly. Mentors can choose how many mentees they are willing to accept up to a maximum of three.

All mentors will be supplied with guidance and training materials before being assigned mentees. We will also offer 1 to 1 sessions with a member of the AHEP team on request.

The AHEP team will be able to support you in your mentor role – you will be able to reach us via

Additionally, mentors will be invited to online catch-up sessions with the AHEP team and other mentors to share experiences and help us improve the programme.

To be able to support their mentee, mentors should have some experience of developing others. We would also expect mentors to have the professional background to able to support colleagues from a place of credibility.

However, this does not mean mentors need to have held the most senior roles in HE. The level of experience required will depend on the needs of the mentee. We anticipate most AHEP mentees will be looking for support in one or more of the following areas:

New to the sector

Moving into a new role or moving up to management

Seeking new opportunities

Get feedback on professional challenges 

Work-life balance

Taking the step up to senior leadership

Support with interpersonal relationships

Career development planning

Here is a brief list of some of the characteristics a good mentor will possess:

Self-awareness: Recognise your own strengths and areas for development. Being aware of your own capabilities and limitations enables you to provide authentic guidance and support.

Adaptability: Be flexible and adaptable in your mentoring approach. Recognise that each mentee is unique and may require different methods of support. Adapt your communication style, feedback delivery, and guidance strategies to meet the individual needs and preferences of your mentee. Being adaptable ensures that you can effectively support mentees from diverse backgrounds and with varying learning preferences.

Accessibility: Be approachable and available to your mentee. Make yourself open to communication and ensure you have the time and willingness to commit to their development journey.

Effective Communication: Listen actively and empathetically. Understand your mentee’s background, perspectives, and needs. Respond thoughtfully, providing guidance that is relevant and challenging, while avoiding projecting your own biases onto them.

Trustworthiness & Transparency: Build a foundation of trust by maintaining confidentiality and following through on commitments. Be transparent in your communication, sharing thoughts and opinions honestly and respectfully.

Encouraging: Recognise and celebrate your mentee’s achievements. By focusing on their strengths first, you help cultivate resilience and self-confidence, creating a positive environment for growth.

Desire to Develop Others: Understand the developmental process and assist your mentee in identifying their strengths, areas for development, and goals. Guide them in creating a roadmap for their professional growth and support them along the way.

Constructive Feedback: Provide feedback in a constructive manner, focusing on growth and development rather than criticism. Help your mentee see feedback as an opportunity for improvement, not a reflection of personal inadequacy.

Following the application window, our Professional Development team will manually match mentors and mentees. Our Professional Development team will carefully review all applications and strive to connect participants with suitable mentors or mentees based on identified areas of growth and strength. At this stage the mentor will be notified and will have the opportunity to review the mentee application and accept or decline the match. Once matches are confirmed, you will receive an email introduction to your mentoring partner.

In most cases we would expect the mentor to accept the match and at least have an initial meeting with the mentee before deciding whether they can offer any support.

It is likely that you may be able to help, but perhaps not with all the things the mentee has included on their form. At the first meeting you can discuss with your mentee that you will only be able to focus on the areas you feel you are able to support. Once this mentorship period has come to a close, it will be possible for the mentee to apply again and seek a different mentor to help them achieve their other objectives.

However, there may be occasions where it would be appropriate to decline the match, and the AHEP team should be informed.

Meetings should take place in a mutually agreeable space. This may be in person or online. If a mentee selects a mentor from the other side of the country it is reasonable to expect that all meetings will take place online via a platform like Zoom.

AHEP will maintain a confidential record of who you have mentored through your time as an AHEP mentor.

We will provide mentors with two document templates:

– A mentoring agreement template – to be completed following the initial meeting where the objectives for the mentoring relationship are set.

– A meeting summary template – which can be optionally completed following every meeting, summarising what was discussed.