Resolution 121 mentoring programme terms of reference

This page describes the mentoring programme terms of reference and the arrangements with regard to confidentiality.

Resolution 121 mentoring programme terms of reference

Resolution 121 is a mentoring programme offered to Resolution members. It has been established to provide confidential mentoring and support to members in a broad range of issues connected with their professional practice as a Resolution member. The scheme also offers support to members who are subject of a formal complaint that has been made to Resolution by a client or by another member.

The key elements of the mentoring scheme are that it is built on Resolution’s long-established goal of offering an association of members who are all linked by a common commitment to high standards of professionalism and practice, shared experience and empathy. The type and nature of the issues that can be dealt with within the mentoring scheme are usually issues experienced by many members at some time in their practice. Mentor and member work together utilising their mutual knowledge and experience to tackle and resolve matters, or to plan together how things may be taken forward.

The administration of the mentoring scheme is managed by the Operations Directorate of Resolution. The Standards Committee of Resolution has oversight and responsibility for the regular review of the scheme.

Resolution’s continuing aim is to ensure that any member who would like to access a mentor to discuss an issue, or any member who is going through the complaints system, can be supported by the mentoring scheme on a confidential 1:1 basis, free of charge as a member benefit.

The mentoring scheme provides short-term support to a member around a specific issue or issues with the mentor providing up to five hours of their time, free of charge to the mentee. Mentor and mentee will generally meet remotely, via video or phone; any other arrangements can be decided on by the mentor and mentee.

What is Resolution mentoring?

Mentoring is using a set of skills to offer a process designed to support and assist individuals who may be more junior colleagues or learners, colleagues or simply individuals in need of structured support.

The purpose of mentoring is always to help the mentee to change something – to improve their performance, to develop their leadership qualities, to develop their partnership skills, to realise their vision, or whatever. This movement from where they are, (‘here’), to where they want to be (‘there’).

Mike Turner[1]

Mentoring involves primarily listening with empathy, sharing experience (usually mutually), professional friendship, developing insight through reflection, being a sounding board, encouraging

David Clutterbuck[2]

There are many definitions and forms of mentoring. Resolution views membership mentoring as a means to provide assistance, support and guidance specifically for Resolution members. A key aim is to support members in delivering services to clients to the best of their ability, making full use of and adhering to the Resolution Code. It is hoped that mentors will also be able to assist members in making the best use of Resolution resources to support and enhance their practice.

Mentors who will be working with our members may be providing a range of supporting services:

  • Personal or professional support and a ‘listening ear’
  • Guidance with professional relationship issues
  • Guidance with complex or complicated client issues
  • Self-management
  • Career direction
  • Advice on making use of Resolution member resources e.g. learning and development, use of Guides to Good Practice and precedents etc.
  • Assistance to find other sources of help and support

In the Resolution model, mentors will be working alongside members to assist, support and guide. The mentor role has clear boundaries, including but not limited to:

  • Mentors do not give advice and/or legal advice – including in relation to matters regarding employment, professional negligence or misconduct, unlawful activity or in respect of insurance
  • Mentoring is offered on a confidential and private basis but with conditions which are designed to protect vulnerable adults and especially children, the mentee and the mentor
  • Mentors do not act outside of their own professional skill and expertise and must be aware of their professional limitations
  • Mentors will respect the professional boundaries of their own role and that of the mentee as a member of their own firm or practice

A note about confidentiality

There is an agreement for mentors and members to sign-up to which sets out roles and responsibilities. In respect of the privacy and confidentiality offered within the mentoring scheme, as stated above there are conditions or exceptions to the confidentiality offered:

  • Where a member discloses or raises a matter which relates to issues of professional misconduct covered by the SRA or other national regulation
  • Where a member raises or discloses an issue which relates to an unlawful act, including money laundering or where there is any over-riding obligation in law to report
  • Where a member raises or discloses an issue relating to their personal safety or that of another person (especially a child or young person).

Members who take up the offer of support from the scheme must be aware of these limits and all peer supporters and mentors should ensure that they have talked with the member and that they have both signed the agreement provided by Resolution that sets out terms for the scheme.

We also provide support to our mentors and would expect that, in any event any mentor who was concerned about any aspect of confidentiality would contact us for further advice.

Providing assistance, support and guidance

Providing assistance, support and guidance is different from providing advice. The relationship between a mentor and mentee should be one of trust and equality and should not be hierarchical. Clearly, mentors by virtue of their greater level of knowledge, skill and experience could be perceived by the mentee as being ‘senior’ in the relationship but the skill of the mentor is in establishing a relationship which assists the mentee to feel secure to share thoughts and concerns without being worried about being ‘judged’ or assessed.

In a hierarchical relationship there is often an expectation that the more senior person will, in effect, tell or advise the other person on what to do. Mentoring is about assisting the mentee to explore whatever concerns, interests or experiences they have and to draw from that exploration their own learning and decision making. The mentor can aid the mentee by providing a reflection of the mentee’s thoughts, signposting to other resources or agencies and in assisting them to consider and decide upon the ‘next steps’ to take. In this way mentors should empower and build confidence in their mentee rather than dependence.

[1] Dr. Mike Munro Turner, FRSA, Jericho Partners

[2] Everyone Needs a Mentor, David Clutterbuck, Kogan Page 2014