Posted by jmeyer on December 8, 2022
Implementing the benchmark practices described in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (EEPM) is vital for improving your organization’s impact. Train your team to meet these standards and engage in continuous quality improvement activities.
Whether your mentoring program is just getting off the ground or you’re already established in the community, the use of state-of-the-art program practices that are informed by research findings and seasoned practitioners is integral to your program’s success. Designing your policies and procedures with the use of a vetted and researched guidebook can increase the efficacy, strength, and longevity of the mentoring relationships in your program and the positive outcomes of mentees. The most data-driven, utilized, and respected guidebook for mentoring is MENTOR’s Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (EEPM).
Think of the EEPM as a manual for running your mentoring program. The EEPM provides a structure that will guide your staff, mentors, mentees, and parents or guardians of mentees through every step of a mentoring relationship to ensure they’re prepared and supported. There are six core standards in the EEPM.
Mentoring Central’s researchers conducted a study on the value of implementing the policies and practices recommended in the EEPM for supporting lasting mentoring relationships. After interviewing program staff at 45 mentoring programs from across the United States, the results indicated that the more programs used the benchmarks in the EEPM, the more likely they were to have long-lasting mentoring relationships. In addition, using the mentor training practices in the EEPM was associated with matches staying together longer.
It’s essential for any mentoring program to have guidance in what policies and procedures are necessary to be smooth sailing and impactful. A guided program will be able to describe how it handles each of the six core standards of effective mentoring.
When programs train mentors, mentees, staff, and even parents, the content should be aligned with the benchmark practices described in the Training Standard of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. Mentoring Central’s wide-ranging collection of training programs are aligned with the six core elements. Standardized training can be a more efficient and effective way for everyone involved in the program to learn the information they need that will impact them every day of their mentoring experience.
A program self-assessment can help you to determine if your organization is following the best practices of the mentoring field. Mentoring Central has created a self-administered, online questionnaire, the Elements Quality Improvement Process (EQUIP) self-assessment, that you and your program staff can complete to help you evaluate your alignment with the EEPM. Then, a mentoring quality improvement plan can be developed for your program using the results you obtain from EQUIP. This self-assessment, evaluation, and review can help you to identify where your program can improve and where it excels. It also can pinpoint where your program may be out of compliance to help you determine if the best practices in the field are being followed.
Gathering and using this type of information about your own program can help you to develop and support strong matches. In a study conducted by researchers at Mentoring Central that looked at 45 mentoring programs around the nation, programs that reported following 85% or more of the benchmark standards in the EEPM had longer matches than programs reporting implementing a smaller percentage of benchmarks.
Mentoring Central’s researchers helped develop the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring and can assist programs to determine if they are following the six core standards, and the associated practice benchmarks. Our program self-assessment, known as EQUIP, is systematic, measurable, and actionable. We assess mentoring programs and give them a framework to improve their impact — whether programs are just starting or have been serving communities for years. Programs can also repeat the assessment to track progress in crucial areas. Learn more about EQUIP by registering for our free EQUIP overview course.