We are seeing an increasing number of learners starting the qualification with mentoring already organised from the outset. This might be because they are already employed by a surveying firm or have used existing industry contacts to arrange ‘help’. But we still need firms or individuals to step forward to help learners without those contacts. This article explains what mentoring is, what it isn’t and how you can get involved.
What is mentoring?
In many ways it is easier to explain what mentoring is by explaining what it isn’t. First of all, mentoring isn’t formal training. Sava provides the training. Rather, mentoring allows a learner to ‘get under the skin’ of a surveyor and see some of the theory put into practice first hand.
Mentoring is not assessment. Sava has a team of trained assessors able to provide formal feedback to the learner in a structured way that meets the quality assurance and standardised requirements of the awarding body we work with. Any feedback a mentor gives is informal and about sharing experience. A mentor might say ‘you might want to try it this way’ or ‘watch what I am doing. I am doing this because…’ whereas an assessor is not allowed to coach in this way.
Mentoring does not have to be formal. It could be as simple as letting a learner go out with you on site or even meeting for a coffee and looking at their site notes and reports, their comparables and valuation analysis and explaining how you might do it differently and where you agree with what they have done. This depends on what is right for you and the individual learner.
But it could also be formal. You might agree with a learner that they can go on site with you on a regular basis or, if you are part of a larger organisation, you might establish internal study groups where learners join a program of timetabled study groups perhaps discussing a variety of case studies.
Mentoring could even involve employing the learner. This will depend on the range of professional work you might undertake and the previous experience of a learner. For example, if a learner has a construction background and you have a design or construction consultancy as part of your practice that could justify their salary while you provide coaching in, say, valuation.
There are no hard and fast rules around mentoring – it is flexible and depends on your availability. One thing, there is no paperwork. You do not have to fill in any forms or report back to us.
So why mentor?
Mentoring isn’t a one way street. Of course, there is the warm feeling that you get when you support someone entering the profession but there are some real, tangible benefits as well.
- Mentoring is recognised as informal CPD
- Learners can be of real assistance – another pair of hands on site, someone to do the desk research for you or to collate comparables
- If you are considering building your team, mentoring is an excellent way to ‘try before you buy’. It’s a great way of getting to know a learner without any long-term commitment, but it may present you with a genuine recruitment opportunity
- Sava covers the Public Liability through our own insurance – just let us know that you are working with one of our learners
What to do now?
Just get in touch with us. If you want to have a chat about mentoring you can speak to one of the training team, but if you are sold on the idea then we need your contact details so that we can pass them on to one of the learners on our mentoring list.
Contact email@example.com or ring us on 01908 442240