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Mentoring FAQs

Frequently asked questions about mentoring

Explore the following FAQs if you are considering engaging with the scheme as a mentee or mentor and have questions about how it works and what the commitment for you would be - or if you are already taking part in the scheme and need further details about support available or what’s expected of you.

If you have any other questions please contact, our mentoring team in OD&PL will be happy to help.

Registering and Getting Started

Where can I find the registration form?

The registration form is available on our Mentoring webpage.

Who can be a mentor?

Any member of staff with a University of Leeds employment contract can be a mentor.  We provide a series of preparing for mentorship workshops to help you get ready for your mentoring partnership. Mentees often tell us how beneficial it is to have a mentor just one step ahead of them so all grades and levels of experience can offer valuable mentoring.

We also consider mentors external to University of Leeds on a case by case basis. Please contact and ask to be put in touch with the lead for the University Wide Mentoring Scheme if you are interested in being a mentor for the scheme.

Who can be a mentee?

Any member of staff with a University of Leeds employment contract can be a mentee. We provide a series of preparing for mentorships workshops to help prepare you for your mentoring journey.

Can I be a mentee and a mentor at the same time?

Yes!  You are more than welcome to register as a mentor and mentee at the same time – on your registration form, in the first section ‘Member Type Selection’ for ‘I would like to be a’ select ‘Mentor and Mentee’ from the drop-down menu.  You will be presented with questions for both mentees and mentors and all information will be collected from one registration form.

What topics can I be mentored on?

You can find details of topics mentors and mentees can select from, as well as some information about what these might typically cover, in the ‘Mentor Scheme: Topics’ SWAY.

What happens after I register?

When you register you will receive a welcome email to confirm we have received your registration. We will usually contact you next when we are starting work on the matching process, to remind you of support and training available and let you know when we expect to be able to let you know who you have been matched with.  Matching takes place in May and November.

How long do I work with my mentor/mentee for?

Partnerships are expected to last around 9 months. Partnerships matched in May will end in January. Partnerships matched in November will end the following July.

What is the time commitment?

Each mentoring pairing will agree on the frequency and time spent, but as a guide, we recommend typically 90 minutes per month should be considered for an effective experience, with partnerships expected to last around 9 months.  This would cover a 60 minute meeting, plus a little additional time for preparation, review and reflection.

What training/support is available?

ODPL provide ‘Preparing for Mentorship’ workshops for both mentors and mentees and there are regular ‘Reflective Practice’ workshops for Mentors.  We provide a range of tools that mentors may find useful which can be accessed via the Mentoring MS Teams space. Workshops and events are advertised on our mentoring webpage.

Will what we discuss be confidential?

Yes. All mentors are expected to abide by the Global code of ethics for Coaches, Mentors and Supervisors.  The only time a mentor would break confidentiality would be if:

  • Both mentor and mentee agree for information to be shared
  • The mentor believes there is a risk of harm to the mentor, mentee, or another person
  • The mentor is made aware of illegal activity

Do I have to tell my line manager I am engaged in the mentoring scheme?

It isn’t obligatory to inform your line manager, however, we do encourage you discuss your engagement in the scheme with them. There is a time commitment involved for both mentees and mentors and being a mentor or mentee is an important part of your staff development. Your line manager can support you with both aspects of mentoring.

Matching Mentors and Mentees

When will I be matched with a mentee/mentor?

Registration is open all year but we only match mentees to mentors twice a year in May and November.  You’ll be matched in the next matching period after registering. Last dates to register to be included in the next matching period will be advertised in the all staff eNews and on our mentoring webpage.

How will I know who I’m matched with?

When matching has taken place, mentees will receive a notification email first, with the name of the suggested mentor and a brief intro to the mentor (if they have provided one).

Mentees will need to accept or decline the proposed match.

Once mentees have accepted a match, a confirmation email is sent to both mentee and mentor providing the name and email address of each. In the email mentees are asked to contact their mentor to set up an initial rapport session.

What if I don’t think the suggested match is right for me?

If you aren’t sure the mentor we have suggested for you is the right match, you can contact and we will be happy to talk to you about why we made the suggested match. We will look at what you are looking to get from mentoring and consider with you if the original match or an alternative would work best for you.

What happens if I decline the suggested match?

OD&PL are notified when any matches are declined and we will email you to find out more about why you felt the initial match wasn’t suitable. We will discuss what you are looking for to help us look for a more suitable match. We will always try to find a match that you feel comfortable with and that allows you to access the support or experience you’re looking for.

How do you match mentors and mentees?

An explanation of how we match mentors and mentees can be found in our How We Use Your Information SWAY.

How is the information on the registration form used?

Full details of how we use the information in your registration can be found in our How We Use Your Information SWAY.

Why haven’t I been matched with a mentor/mentee?

We are in the fortunate position to currently have more mentors registered than new mentees so not all mentors will be matched every cycle. Who is matched to a mentee is entirely dependent on the requests from new mentees. It can take a little while to complete all matching and any rematching required, but we do contact mentors that have not been matched to confirm that’s the case as soon as we’re able to.

We are usually able to offer a mentor to all mentees, so if you think you should have had a provisional match and haven’t received one please contact  If we don’t feel we a have a suitable mentor on the database to meet your requests we will contact you to discuss this with you.

Rapport Sessions

What is a rapport session?

A rapport session is an initial meeting between the mentee and mentor where you can get to know each other a little bit and share what you are hoping to achieve through mentoring. In the session you will be able to explore how you both like to work too. We recognise that the match has to work and be comfortable for both parties and the rapport session gives mentees and mentors a chance to check they feel the match will be productive.

By the end of the session mentees and mentors should agree if they are happy to continue with the partnership. There is no pressure on either to continue with a partnership they don’t feel it will work for them based on what they are hoping to get out of mentoring.

What do I need to do after the rapport session?

We ask that the mentee confirms whether or not the relationship will proceed by completing the Rapport Meeting Outcome Form here.

If for any reason it is decided that a relationship will not continue after the rapport session, we will contact the mentee to discuss matching them with an alternative mentor.  Mentors will go back into the pool to be considered for other mentees.

Resolving Problems

What should I do if my mentee/mentor doesn’t get in touch?

If you’ve sent only one message, we’d ask that you drop them another note – sometimes emails get over looked in the traffic. You might also consider a message on MS Teams if you’ve emailed or vice versa. If you still don’t hear back please contact

What should I do if I don’t think the partnership is working?

There can be a number of potential challenges in mentoring partnerships.  Our Mentoring challenges and how to address them SWAY has advice on how to handle many of the common challenges. You can also contact if you require further guidance or advice, or if you’d like to discuss ending the partnership.

What should I do if I’m worried about my mentee or something they have mentioned?

In the course of mentoring, it’s possible a mentee may bring up a sensitive topic that creates a conflict of interest or is outside the boundaries of mentoring. Our Mentoring challenges and how to address them SWAY has advice on how to handle many of the common challenges. You can also contact if you would like advice on addressing a specific concern.

End of Partnerships

Will I be matched again?

At the end of each partnership cycle, mentors will go back into the pool to be matched with a new mentee. This is unless they let us know they need to take a break or no longer wish - or are able - to act as a mentor on the scheme.

The scheme works on the basis that mentees will receive mentoring for one cycle only, so mentees will not be matched again automatically. Mentees can contact us at to arrange further cycles of mentoring.

How can I provide feedback?

Mentees can provide feedback directly to their mentor during sessions, and we encourage mentors to request feedback on their approach from their mentees regularly.

At the end of your partnership, OD&PL will provide you with an online evaluation survey about your experience of the scheme, and we greatly appreciate your input to this.

Your feedback provides vital information that we use to further develop and enhance the scheme, and ensure it is fulfilling the needs of its users.